Elon Musk says end of 2023 ‘good timing’ for new Twitter owner

Billionaire Twitter owner says he wants to make sure the platform is in a ‘financially healthy place’ before finding a new CEO.

Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition on March 9, 2020, in Washington, DC, the US.
Elon Musk has indicated Twitter could have a new chief executive by the end of 2023 [File: Susan Walsh/AP]

Twitter owner Elon Musk has suggested that he could pass the baton as the tech giant’s chief executive by the end of this year.

Musk, who bought Twitter in October for $44bn, said on Wednesday the end of 2023 would be “good timing” to find someone else to run the social media giant.

“I think I need to stabilise the organisation and just make sure it’s in a financially healthy place and that the product road map is clearly laid out,” Musk said during a virtual appearance at the World Government Summit in Dubai after being asked if he had found a new CEO and when that person would be hired.

Musk added that “probably towards the end of this year would be good timing” as he expects the company to be in a stable position by then.

In December, Musk said on Twitter that he would step down as CEO “as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!”

Musk, who also runs Tesla and ranks among the world’s richest men, made the remarks after a majority of respondents voted in a Twitter poll that he should resign.

Musk’s leadership of the platform has divided users, with conservatives hailing his stated commitment to free speech and many liberals raising concerns about rising misinformation and hate speech.

Musk, a self-described free speech absolutist, has pledged to encourage a diversity of views on Twitter and tackle what he claims is the liberal bias that held sway under the platform’s previous management.

Since taking charge, Musk has laid off about half of Twitter’s workforce, overhauled its moderation policies and restored the accounts of suspended prominent figures including former US President Donald Trump.

Critics have accused Musk of giving extremists open slather to spew hate speech on the platform and censoring criticism he does not like, including suspending a number of journalists he accused of doxing him and his family.

The platform has also experienced repeated glitches and outages under the billionaire tech mogul’s watch.

Speaking in Dubai on Wednesday, Musk, who described his ownership of Twitter as a “rollercoaster”, hailed the platform as a valuable communication tool despite the recent difficulties.

“As a forum for communication, it’s great. And I would just encourage more communication … to sort of speak in an authentic voice,” he said.

“Sometimes, people will have someone else be their sort of Twitter manager or something like that. People should just do their own tweets … I think that’s the way to do it.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies