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Elon Musk announces he has found new Twitter CEO

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Twitter’s CEO, Elon Musk, said on Thursday that he has found a new chief executive for the social media platform and that she will be starting in about six weeks.

“My role will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops,” Musk said in a tweet.

However, the billionaire did not reveal who would be taking the reins of the embattled social media company and has made announcements in the past that he did not follow through on.

Late Thursday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s head of advertising, is in talks to take up the role, according to people familiar with the situation.

Yaccarino has been an industry advocate for finding better ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising and was key in the launch of NBC’s ad-supported Peacock streaming service. Yaccarino did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Her exit would be another big blow to NBCUniversal after Comcast said last month that CEO Jeff Shell was leaving after acknowledging an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, following a complaint that prompted an investigation.

Musk, whose tenure as chief executive has been marked with controversy, had told a Delaware court in November he expected to reduce his time at Twitter and eventually find a new leader to run the social media company.

In December, he tweeted: “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job.”

Musk took over as CEO in October after he acquired the company for $44bn. He quickly fired the company’s top executives, including then CEO Parag Agrawal.

Since then, Twitter has been in a state of near-constant turmoil with Musk carrying out an aggressive and chaotic agenda intent on cutting costs and reshaping the platform.

Shortly after taking over, Musk cut nearly half of Twitter’s 7,500 person workforce.

The company reinstated previously banned accounts, such as those belonging to Donald Trump and the misogynist influencer Andrew Tate.

Large advertisers have abandoned the platform due to concerns about hate speech and poor content moderation.

Musk, a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist”, has said he took over Twitter to prevent the platform from becoming an echo chamber for hate and division.

The company’s relaunch of its subscription service, Twitter Blue, was chaotic, with impersonation and false information running rampant on the platform and few people signing up for the service the changes were meant to promote.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s former CEO has sued the company over legal fees.

It was reported in March that the company is worth less than half of what Musk paid for it last fall. He said last month that Twitter was “roughly breaking even”.

If Twitter were to get a new CEO, the move could allay concerns of investors at Tesla who have been increasingly worried about the time that Musk is devoting to turning around Twitter. Tesla shares jumped 2.4% in trading volume as the news broke.

“The boat anchor called Twitter is loosened from Musk’s ankle. Now he can get back to spending more time creating value at Tesla,” said Craig Irwin, analyst at Roth MKM.

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