Elon Musk said he has hired a new chief executive of Twitter who will start running the social media platform in six weeks.
The billionaire was Twitter chief executive since acquiring the company for $44 billion in October, but signaled that his position would be temporary. Musk wrote on Twitter Thursday, “Excited to announce that I have hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!
He added that he would become executive chairman and chief technology officer, “overseeing products, software and sysops [systems operations]”. He did not name the person he intended to appoint as CEO.
A person familiar with the matter told the Financial Times that Linda Yaccarino, head of advertising at NBCUniversal, and Musk were in talks, after the Wall Street Journal reported that she was in talks for the job. Yaccarino did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Musk and Yaccarino recently appeared together at a conference in Miami where they gave a keynote titled “Twitter 2.0: From Conversations to Partnerships.” They seemed to have a good rapport on stage, with Yaccarino displaying showmanship, according to people who saw the presentation.
The announcement comes as shareholders of You’re here, the electric car maker that Musk also runs, have increasingly pressured him to refocus on the company, whose shares have fallen 30% over the past year. Tesla stock jumped about 2% on news from the Twitter chief.
Twitter investors and bankers have also been keen for Musk to select a new leadership as soon as possible, according to people familiar with the matter.
Musk said in December that he would step down as Twitter’s chief executive as soon as he found someone “dumb enough to take the job”, after polling users on whether he should quit. The poll drew 17.5 million votes, with 57.5% calling for him to stand down.
His six months at the head of Twitter have been marked by a major upheaval during which he reduced its workforce by approximately 90% and relaxed content moderation. The moves have alienated some high profile users and advertisers, affecting the social media platform’s revenue.
However, Musk said in March that Twitter’s finances were improving following its cost-cutting efforts, to the point where the company could return to showing positive cash flow next quarter. It also announced several new features in recent weeks, including encrypted messaging.