Elon Musk Announces He’s Stepping Down As Twitter CEO; Unnamed Woman Replacing Him At The End Of June

“Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter,” wrote Elon Musk today on the platform. He then dropped another bombshell — considering the frathouse that is tech’s top leadership — that the company’s new CEO would be a woman.

“She will be starting in ~6 weeks!” Musk announced, before addressing his own plans. “My role will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops.”

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Musk said in December that he would step down as CEO as soon as he found someone “foolish enough to take the job.” He had also previewed that his role would transition to running software and servers at the company. The billionaire had promised to abide by the result of a Twitter poll in which he asked users if he should step down. More than 57% voted “yes.”

Musk made the announcement about 3:45 ET, and it appeared to be greeted as good news by investors in Tesla, amid concerns that running the social media platform was a distraction. In the 15 minutes before the market closed, shares in Tesla rose to close at their highest point since April 19, at $172. That company accounts for the lion share of Musk’s vast wealth.

Musk’s Twitter announcement was also a tease, as it set off a guessing game of who the next CEO will be. It also generated some skepticism given that he has previously previewed decisions that were delayed or did not materialize.

When he closed his purchase of Twitter in October, after a turbulent process with the previous platform’s leadership, Musk fired staffers and invited back users who had previously been suspended. Most prominent was former President Donald Trump, who has yet to tweet and instead has stuck to his own platform, Truth Social.

Twitter’s recent move to paid verification has resulted in the loss of many users’ blue checkmarks. Those had been a way for the platform to assure that users were who they said they were, but the switch to the paid model has created an added layer of uncertainty.

Musk has pitched himself as a free speech absolutist, but he has still instituted his own set of rules. In December, he suspended the accounts of several journalists who have covered him, claiming they posted his real time location. In fact, they had linked to an account that tracked the movement of his private jet.

The new CEO also will likely have to contend controversies related to Tucker Carlson, who announced earlier this week that he was bringing his show to the platform. Musk denied that there was any business deal between him and the former Fox News host, and also invited another recently departed cable news personality, Don Lemon, to start a show on Twitter as well.

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