Who Should Run Twitter Once Elon Musk Steps Down?

Twitter logo seen on dark blue background

Elon Musk is looking for a new CEO for Twitter. But with the company “on the fast lane to bankruptcy,” according to Musk, and its next CEO needs to be someone with experience in making smart decisions and a high pain threshold.

So who should run Twitter once Elon Musk steps down? Let’s look at some of the possible candidates.

1. Sriram Krishnan: Former Twitter Senior Product Director

Image Credit: Fortune Brainstorm TECH/Flickr

Top on our list of potential candidates for Twitter’s CEO would be Sriram Krishnan. He is an experienced product manager, having led product teams at Microsoft, Yahoo!, Facebook, Snap, and Twitter.

Krishnan stands out as a strong candidate because he already has intimate knowledge of Twitter’s product and culture. He was a senior product director 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 Twitter acquisition), is also a close associate of Elon Musk, which could give him a leg up in the race for CEO. Add to that his experience in executing successful product strategies and his well-rounded background, and Sriram Krishnan emerges as a strong candidate for Twitter’s next CEO.

2. Sheryl Sandberg: Former Facebook COO

Photo showing Sheryl Sandberg
Image Credit: World Economic Forum/Flickr

Another name that pops up on many lists of potential candidates is Sheryl Sandberg. She is the former Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Facebook and was previously VP of Global Online Sales & Operations at Google Inc., where she worked for two years before joining Facebook in 2008.

One of Twitter’s biggest challenges has always been how to monetize its platform without putting off regular users, the way Twitter Blue is currently doing. 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 goal while still maintaining a user-friendly platform.

Sheryl Sandberg resigned from her active role at Facebook back in 2022, so if Twitter does decide to pursue her, they would have to make it worth her while.

3. Changpeng Zhao: Binance CEO

changpeng zhao binance ceo
Image Credit: Web Summit/Flickr

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 lead a successful business. Under Zhao’s guidance, Binance has become one of the largest and most successful cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

Binance co-financed Elon’s Twitter buyout, which makes Zhao an even more likely candidate for the position of Twitter’s CEO. His deep understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies could help Twitter monetize its platform in new and innovative ways.

Elon’s free speech beliefs align in many ways with Zhao’s, which could make for a smooth transition of power. Running Binance and Twitter could be a very interesting challenge for Zhao, and one that he might enjoy, seeing as he’s always viewed Twitter as an important business development tool.

4. David Sacks: Yammer Co-Founder

David Sacks Yammer Co founder
Image Credit: Robert Scoble/Flickr

The fourth possible candidate for Twitter’s CEO is David Sacks, the founder of Craft Ventures and former PayPal COO. Sacks is best known for his role as the CEO of Yammer, a business-oriented social networking site acquired by Microsoft in 2012.

Sacks is an experienced leader, having held high-ranking positions in companies like PayPal and Yammer. He is also a close associate of Elon Musk and shares many of his beliefs and values. Sacks is quoted to have said the only thing he and Musk disagree on is “Chess.”

Tipping Sacks for the number one job at Twitter would be a great way for Musk to appoint someone who shares his vision and values, while also bringing in an experienced leader. Having been at the helm of Yammer for seven years, Sacks has a deep understanding of the social networking sphere and could bring new ideas to Twitter that could help stabilize and grow the platform.

5. Jason Calacanis: Angel Investor

Photo of Jason Calacanis
Image Credit: Jeff Ward/Flickr

Another candidate for the CEO position at Twitter 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 reporter and eventually starting Open Angel Forum, an event that connects angel investors and founders.

Calacanis is one of Musk’s closest confidants and has been quoted to say “Twitter CEO is my dream job” in a text to Musk, per TechCrunch. Other parts of the text messages reveal Calacanis suggesting ways of increasing the platform’s value and profitability, with Musk open to the ideas.

What Calacanis lacks in specific experience in running social media companies, he makes up for with his vast knowledge of the tech industry and his close relationship with Musk. If he were to be chosen as the next CEO of Twitter, he could bring in fresh perspectives and ideas to help grow the platform.

6. Lex Fridman: AI Researcher

Also on our list of potential CEO candidates for Twitter is Lex Fridman, an artificial intelligence researcher at MIT, although more famous for his podcast. Fridman is an innovative thinker who has done 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 got a response (though conditional) from Mr. Musk already.

In the unlikely event that the two of them reach an agreement, then we may see Fridman become Twitter’s new CEO.

Who Will Run Twitter Once Elon Musk Resigns?

At this stage, it’s impossible to predict just who will replace Elon Musk as head honcho at Twitter if and when he steps down; however, there are certainly plenty of candidates who could bring something special to the table if chosen for this role. We’ve listed six possible contenders for the job here, but there could be many more out there.

Ultimately, it will be up to Musk to decide who will be the best fit for the job, and to date, he has made no indication of who that might be. All we can do is wait and see who he chooses to lead Twitter in the near future, and hope that they are up to the challenge.

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