It has been a tumultuous year for the micro-blogging platform founded by Jack Dorsey and recently acquired by Elon Musk as the billionaire founder of SpaceX has introduced drastic changes to both the company and the social media platform since he took the reins in November last year.
However, since the get-go, Musk does not appear to be willing to retain the top job at Twitter for too long as indicated by some of his actions. First, he conducted a poll on the platform where he asked the community if he should be stepped down.
Also read: Twitter Announces Details of its API v2 – Will Developers Come Back?
More than 17 million votes were cast with the majority of the crowd saying “Yes” to Musk’s resignation. Musk replied to the people’s decision by saying that he will resign but that he first had to find “someone foolish enough to take the job”.
That said, he further commented that even if he hands over the reins, he will continue to work alongside the company’s software and server teams.
Meanwhile, just hours ago, Musk shared further details about his succession plan during an event held in Dubai called the World Government Summit.
During his speech at the conference, Musk commented that he may be prepared to appoint a new CEO before 2023 ends but that he first needed to “stabilize the organization and just make sure it’s in a financially healthy place”. In addition, he also wants to make sure that the “product roadmap is clearly laid out”.
Is Musk Serious About His Intentions to Let Go of the Wheels?
Musk’s rambles are well-known by both the Twitter and investment community as most of his popularity comes from making bold claims and controversial statements. For example, shortly after making this speech, he went on to tweet an image of a corgi dog dressed in a T-shirt that says “CEO”. “The new CEO of Twitter is amazing”, he tweeted.
The new CEO of Twitter is amazing pic.twitter.com/yBqWFUDIQH
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 15, 2023
Who will succeed Musk at Twitter is the question on everybody’s mind at this point. No possible candidates have been mentioned by the billionaire but some options may include the former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, and Meta Platform’s former Chief Operating Officer, Mike Schroepfer.
That being said, is Musk sufficiently motivated to let someone else run Twitter? He is certainly growing accustomed to the extra attention he is getting after becoming the owner of the social media platform.
In this regard, reports have been circulating this week about Musk’s intentions to make his tweets immediately visible to everyone on Twitter by ranking them at the top of users’ timelines even if they may not be following him.
To achieve this, he instructed engineers to tweak the platform’s algorithm so his tweets are boosted by using something called a “power user multiplier”.
Battered Finances Will Make Things Difficult for Any New Leader
It is important to note that Musk took on around $12.5 billion in debt to finance his acquisition of Twitter. According to some reports, this debt could generate interest expenditures of around $600 million annually.
In addition, advertising revenues plunged right after Musk completed the acquisition as corporations feared that his actions would endanger the platform’s content moderation capacity as the head of Tesla (TSLA) laid off roughly half of Twitter’s staff along with thousands of independent contractors just days after he took over.
Since then, Twitter has been pushing forward different initiatives to generate revenues outside of advertising. For this purpose, the company revamped its premium subscription known as Twitter Blue and incorporated some appealing features such as the possibility of earning the mystical “Verified” blue badge by just passing a simple ID verification procedure.
Meanwhile, the company also shut down its free application programming interface (API) – a move that caused significant discomfort among third-party developers but that could soon become another source of revenue to the firm.
However, none of those sources have the capacity to make up for the billions of dollars that Twitter has lost in advertising revenues, with some reports indicating that the company’s income from this front could have dropped by more than 40% daily compared to the previous year.
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