April 18, 2024

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 mentioned he’ll discover a new CEO for Twitter after customers voted for him to leave. However who would, in his own words, be “silly sufficient to take the job”?

It’s a query I’ve been posing in conversations over the previous week. Primarily based on my checks with individuals who would know, Musk doesn’t seem like working 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 suppose Musk will finally discover a CEO, not solely as a result of he informed his Twitter traders he would however as a result of it’s the rational factor for him to do. Beneath are the names which have been floated to me nearly as good candidates ought to Musk really hand over the reins of Twitter. (I’m not together with the plain members of Musk’s transition group that helped him within the early days of the takeover — specifically David Sacks, Jason Calacanis, and Sriram Krishnan — since my learn is that they don’t seem to be ready to take the job if requested.)

Sheryl Sandberg, ex-Meta COO

Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Photographs

Execs: This choose is probably the obvious selection, particularly if Musk does what he says and continues to guide 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 business. And he or she’s a free agent after leaving Meta final 12 months.

Cons: Musk isn’t any fan of Fb, and I don’t suppose they might get alongside. Sandberg additionally appears completely happy specializing in her philanthropy and household life lately.

Emmett Shear, co-founder and CEO of Twitch

TED2019: Bigger Than Us

Photograph by Lawrence Sumulong/Getty Photographs

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 bought 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 carry Twitter again out to the general public markets in a number of years. And Twitch has been unable to efficiently increase outdoors of its major area of interest of gamer livestreams.

Vanessa Pappas, TikTok COO

TikTok House Party at VidCon 2022

Photograph by Vivien Killilea/Getty Photographs for TikTok

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 12 months.

Con: If Musk is principally in search of somebody that the large advertisers know to guide 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

Photograph by Emma McIntyre/Getty Photographs for The MAKERS Convention

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

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

Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder

2019 New York Times Dealbook

Photograph by Mike Cohen/Getty Photographs for The New York Occasions

Execs: When it comes to pedigree and product chops, the Instagram co-founder and former CEO is certainly a prime choose. 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 last year. That’s precisely what Musk desires Twitter to deal with, too.

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

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