Who may very well be the CEO of Twitter if Elon Musk steps down

The next is a free preview from final week’s Command Line, my new weekly e-newsletter concerning the tech business’s inside dialog:

Elon Musk has stated he’ll discover a new CEO for Twitter after customers voted for him to go away. However who would, in his personal phrases, be “silly sufficient to take the job”?

It’s a query I’ve been posing in conversations over the previous week. Based mostly on my checks with individuals who would know, Musk doesn’t seem like operating a proper search but. And given his propensity to lie return on his phrase, he won’t attempt to discover somebody. The matter is difficult by his saying that, even after discovering a CEO, he’ll nonetheless run the “software program & servers groups.” That’s principally the entire firm.

For what it’s value, I do assume Musk will finally discover a CEO, not solely as a result of he advised his Twitter traders he would however as a result of it’s the rational factor for him to do. Under are the names which were floated to me nearly as good candidates ought to Musk truly hand over the reins of Twitter. (I’m not together with the apparent members of Musk’s transition staff that helped him within the early days of the takeover — specifically David Sacks, Jason Calacanis, and Sriram Krishnan — since my learn is that they aren’t able to take the job if requested.)

Sheryl Sandberg, ex-Meta COO

Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Photos

Execs: This decide is probably the obvious alternative, particularly if Musk does what he says and continues to steer engineering at Twitter after naming a brand new CEO. Sandberg has the rep with advertisers and connections that Musk wants to start repairing Twitter’s spiraling enterprise. And he or she’s a free agent after leaving Meta final yr.

Cons: Musk is not any fan of Fb, and I don’t assume they might get alongside. Sandberg additionally appears completely satisfied specializing in her philanthropy and household life today.

Emmett Shear, co-founder and CEO of Twitch

TED2019: Bigger Than Us

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Execs: Whereas Shear wasn’t on my shortlist of attainable names till I began asking round, I’m coming round to the thought. Because the co-founder and present head of Twitch, he has efficiently offered a social media firm to a tech large and has the expertise Musk wants for his plan to show Twitter into extra of a video platform for creators. Plus, I’ve been listening to that the Twitch org is in disarray as of late.

Cons: He hasn’t led a public firm, and Musk plans to convey Twitter again out to the general public markets in a number of years. And Twitch has been unable to efficiently increase exterior of its major area of interest of gamer livestreams.

Vanessa Pappas, TikTok COO

TikTok House Party at VidCon 2022

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Execs: She has the expertise Musk wants, having first helped rise up YouTube’s early creator program and extra lately because the COO of TikTok. I’ve additionally heard whispers that she could also be planning an exit from TikTok / ByteDance someday this yr.

Con: If Musk is especially searching for somebody that the large advertisers know to steer Twitter, she wouldn’t be the best choice since her focus has primarily been on product and creators.

Jim Lanzone, CEO of Yahoo

The 2022 MAKERS Conference - Day One

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Execs: Lanzone’s background is extra in media and promoting, apart from his temporary stint as CEO of Tinder. He’s now main Yahoo however might soar for the precise alternative. He has the connections with the promoting neighborhood and operations expertise that Musk may use and the structure to cope with Musk’s antics.

Con: Unclear if he would need to work for Musk and tackle the headache that’s Twitter proper now.

Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder

2019 New York Times Dealbook

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Execs: By way of pedigree and product chops, the Instagram co-founder and former CEO is certainly a high decide. He has been quiet since he left Instagram / Fb in 2018 after clashing with Mark Zuckerberg, although he confirmed his curiosity within the TikTok mannequin of social media — disentangling in-feed suggestions from somebody’s social graph — on Lex Fridman’s podcast final yr. That’s precisely what Musk desires Twitter to concentrate on, too.

Cons: He has already labored for an opinionated founder / CEO, made some huge cash, and certain doesn’t need to do all of it once more. Additionally doesn’t have the diploma of clout with the promoting neighborhood that Musk might be searching for.

Honorable mentions floated to me: Adam Bain, Susan Wojcicki, Sarah Friar, Kayvon Beykpour, and Kevin Weil. Am I lacking anybody else? Let me know…

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