Twitter boss Elon Musk said Wednesday that a new CEO might be running the online platform by the end of 2023, after a “rollercoaster” ride since he took full ownership last year.
“I’m guessing probably towards the end of this year should be good timing to find someone else to run the company,” he told the World Government Summit conference in Dubai via video.
“I need to stabilise the organisation and make sure it’s in a healthy place and that the product roadmap is clearly laid out…. I think it should be in a stable position around the end of this year.”
Musk paid $44 billion for his favourite social media platform and exiting day-to-day operations would allow him to deflect criticism that he is neglecting his other ventures, especially electric car company Tesla.
The founder of Tesla and SpaceX has given few clues to what type of leader he is looking for. On December 21, when he first announced he planned to step down as chief executive, he said only that he would limit his own duties to software and server engineering once “someone foolish enough” had taken his place.
Since Musk took ownership of Twitter on October 27, the platform has been riven by chaos, with mass layoffs, the return of thousands of banned accounts and major advertisers fleeing.
The app has also seen a string of technical snafus, including an incident on Sunday where tweets by Musk suddenly dominated the feeds of millions of users, even those not following the tycoon.
According to sources inside the company, as reported to the industry news website Platformer, this was because Musk was upset that a tweet by US President Joe Biden during the Super Bowl received much more engagement than his own.
In an attempt to fix the issue, engineers were called in to tinker with Twitter’s algorithm so that it pumped out more Musk tweets, sparking complaints.
In another incident last week, thousands of users reported problems using Twitter as the social network began letting paying users post tweets as long as 4,000 characters.
– ‘Niche ideology’ –
Despite the difficulties, Musk on Wednesday encouraged users to communicate more freely on Twitter and said the site would impose “the least amount of censorship allowed by law.”
Under his ownership, he said Twitter would no longer privilege the liberal values or “niche ideology” of the US west coast for its content moderation.
“I thought it was important, kind of, for the future of civilization to try to correct that thumb on the scale,” Musk said, describing his motivations behind buying Twitter.
“As a forum for communication, it’s great. And I would just encourage more communication… to sort of speak in an authentic voice,” he added.