Elon Musk is looking for a new CEO for Twitter. But with the company “on the fast track to bankruptcy,” according to Musk, and its next CEO needs to be someone with a background in making smart decisions and a high pain threshold.
So who should run Twitter once Elon Musk leaves office? Let’s look at some of the possible candidates.
1. Sriram Krishnan: Former Chief Product Officer of Twitter
Sriram Krishnan tops our list of potential Twitter CEO candidates. He is an experienced product manager, having led product teams at Microsoft, Yahoo!, Facebook, Snap and Twitter.
Krishnan is a prime candidate because he already has an intimate knowledge of Twitter’s product and culture. He was chief product officer at Twitter from 2017 to 2019 and oversaw the company’s consumer product team. He is also credited with helping develop several of Twitter’s successful products, including timelines, DMs, and search.
Krishnan, who is currently a partner at Andreessen Horowitz (which co-financed Musk’s acquisition of Twitter), is also a close associate of Elon Musk, which could give him a leg up in the CEO race. Combined with his experience in implementing successful product strategies and his comprehensive background, Sriram Krishnan emerges as a strong candidate for Twitter’s next CEO.
2. Sheryl Sandberg: Former Facebook COO
Another name that appears on many lists of potential candidates is that of Sheryl Sandberg. She is the former chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook and was previously vice president of global online sales and operations at Google Inc. where she worked for two years before joining Facebook in 2008.
One of Twitter’s biggest challenges has always been to monetize its platform without turning off regular users, as Twitter Blue is currently doing. Ms. Sandberg’s background in technology, marketing and advertising (she led the development of Google AdWords and AdSense) could be the perfect combination to help Twitter achieve this while maintaining a user-friendly platform.
Sheryl Sandberg stepped down from her active role at Facebook in 2022, so if Twitter decides to pursue her, she’ll have to be worth it.
3. Changpeng Zhao: CEO of Binance.
Another potential CEO for Twitter is Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges.
Zhao has a wealth of experience in the blockchain industry and has shown his ability to run a successful business. Under Zhao’s leadership, Binance has become one of the largest and most successful cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
Binance co-funded Elon’s takeover of Twitter, making Zhao an even more likely candidate for Twitter’s CEO position. His deep understanding of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies could help Twitter monetize its platform in new and innovative ways.
Elon’s beliefs on free speech align in many ways with Zhao’s, which could allow for a smooth transition of power. Managing Binance and Twitter could be a very interesting challenge for Mr. Zhao, which he might enjoy, since he has always viewed Twitter as an important tool for business development.
4. David Sacks: Yammer Co-Founder
The fourth possible candidate for Twitter’s CEO position is David Sacks, founder of Craft Ventures and former chief operating officer of PayPal. Sacks is best known for his role as CEO of Yammer, a business-oriented social networking site acquired by Microsoft in 2012.
Sacks is an experienced leader, having held senior positions at companies like PayPal and Yammer. He is also a close associate of Elon Musk and shares many of his beliefs and values. Sacks reportedly said the only thing he and Musk disagree on is “chess.”
Giving Sacks the number one position at Twitter would be a great way for Musk to appoint someone who shares his vision and values, while bringing in an experienced leader. Having been the head of Yammer for seven years, Mr. Sacks has deep knowledge of the social media sphere and could bring new ideas to Twitter that could help stabilize and grow the platform.
5. Jason Calacanis: Angel Investor
Another contender for Twitter CEO is Jason Calacanis, an angel investor who was an early backer of Uber, Robinhood, and Thumbtack. Calacanis is known for his work in the tech industry, having started as a journalist and eventually started the Open Angel Forum, an event that connects angel investors and founders.
Calacanis is one of Musk’s closest confidants and reportedly said “Twitter CEO is my dream job” in a text to Musk, according to TechCrunch. Other parts of the text messages reveal Calacanis suggesting ways to increase the value and profitability of the platform, with Musk open to those ideas.
What Calacanis lacks in terms of specific experience running social media companies, he makes up for in his vast knowledge of the tech industry and his close relationship with Musk. If chosen as Twitter’s next CEO, he could bring fresh perspectives and ideas to help the platform grow.
6. Lex Fridman: AI Researcher
Also on our list of potential Twitter CEO candidates is Lex Fridman, an artificial intelligence researcher at MIT, though he’s best known for his podcast. Fridman is an innovative thinker who has conducted extensive research in the field of AI and machine learning.
But, more than anything else, Fridman is on this list because he also offered to run the company and has already gotten a response (albeit conditional) from Mr. Musk.
In the unlikely event that the two men reach an agreement, then we could see Fridman become the new CEO of Twitter.
Who Will Run Twitter After Elon Musk Steps Down?
At this stage, it is impossible to predict who will replace Elon Musk at the head of Twitter if he steps down; however, there are certainly many candidates who could bring something special if chosen for this role. We’ve put together a list of six possible candidates for the job here, but there could be many more.
Ultimately, it’s up to Musk to decide who will be best suited for the job, and so far he hasn’t given any guidance on that. All we can do is wait and see who he chooses to lead Twitter in the near future, and hope they are up to the challenge.