Elon Musk said on Twitter on Thursday May 11 that he had hired a general manager to replace him at the head of the platform, without giving his identity, but specifying that he would keep control of the social network whose functioning he disrupted. these last six months.
“Excited to announce that I have hired a new General Manager for X/Twitter. She will start in about 6 weeks! tweeted the billionaire, who bought the company at the end of October and renamed it “X Corp” last month. “I will become executive chairman of the board and chief technology officer, to oversee products, software and operations,” he added.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Linda Yaccarino, director of advertising for the American media group NBCUniversal, is in negotiations for the position of general manager of Twitter.
The boss of Tesla and SpaceX had made a poll in December to ask users of the platform whether or not he should give way. Some 17 million of them had spoken, including 57% in favor of his departure.
After some dithering – he had insinuated that this result was the result of an army of automated accounts – Elon Musk had ended up tweeting that he planned to leave as soon as he had “found someone crazy enough” for him succeed.
His announcement on Thursday drew enthusiastic comments from his many fans, and also sent Tesla stock up more than 2% on Wall Street, as the many-hatted executive’s time at Twitter worried the market.
“Compassion and Mercy”
The entrepreneur has transformed the Californian group. On the day of the takeover, he immediately fired former boss Parag Agrawal, former legal director Vijaya Gadde and former chief financial officer Ned Segal. The delisted group now has around 2,000 employees instead of 7,500, according to estimates.
The social network has also changed a lot. Elon Musk let back many controversial personalities, who had been banned for violating content moderation rules. The blue checkmarks that guaranteed the authenticity and credibility of the accounts that had obtained them after verification are now available to everyone, with a paid subscription to Twitter Blue.
And several Western news organizations, such as the BBC or the American national radio NPR, have castigated the label of “government-funded media” that had once been attached to them.
“Whoever is recruited to run Twitter deserves our compassion and pity,” commented independent analyst Rob Enderle. “It’s not going to be easy to fix a company that has been so damaged by its leader.”
Drastic drop in income
The chaotic changes and various provocations by Elon Musk have scared away many advertisers, on whom the platform depends for its income. Twitter is set to earn less than $3 billion in 2023, down from $4.14 billion in 2022, or 28% less, according to Insider Intelligence.
“A new leader is the only way for the company to move forward,” reacted Jasmine Enberg, an analyst at this research firm, on Thursday. She believes that if Elon Musk takes a step back, the company has a chance to “regain the trust of advertisers”.
At the end of March, the multibillionaire estimated the value of Twitter at 20 billion dollars, against 44 billion at the time of the acquisition, according to an internal document consulted by several American media.
Its Tesla factory in Fremont is being sued by the State of California, which accuses it of racial discrimination. In December 2021, six women filed a complaint against this same site, accusing the automotive group of having tolerated sexual harassment (rubbish and unsolicited physical contact).