Elon Musk seems intent on continuing the tradition of musical chairs among Twitter chief executives. On Sunday, he used an online poll to ask users whether he should step down as head of the platform. His erratic online behaviour since buying the company means it was no surprise that the answer was “Yes”.
Musk claims to have no successor in place. That leaves Lex room to speculate. The ideal replacement Twitter chief must provide a soothing presence for advertisers while providing the workforce with confidence to create new features that users will pay for. Sheryl Sandberg, the former chief operating officer of Meta who turned the company into a digital advertising giant, fits the bill.
Of course, Sandberg may have no desire to take on another company rife with content moderation problems. An alternative is Nextdoor chief Sarah Friar. Before running the social media company, Friar was chief financial officer at payments company Block, created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. At Block, she was credited with helping to build a range of businesses. If Twitter is to add payments to its service, she would be a perfect candidate.
Dorsey has stepped in as chief twice. But his failure to find sustained profits should rule him out for a third try. Twitter has never lived up to its early promise. Accusations of mismanagement have dogged the company thanks to its low growth and failure to monetise users. At the last count, its user base was less than a tenth the size of Meta’s. It has only reported annual profits twice in the past decade.
Twitter is a private company. Musk is free to dissolve the board, cut the workforce in half, invent content moderation rules and ignore the results of his own poll. A lack of alternatives means users have not left the platform in high numbers. But his actions are alienating the advertisers who account for more than 90 per cent of Twitter’s revenue. There are reports of missed targets in the US. Meanwhile, investors in Tesla are complaining about the time their chief is spending on Twitter.
A new buyer would mean swallowing heavy losses after his $44bn purchase. Valued at about three times trailing revenue (equal to similar-sized peer Snap), Twitter’s enterprise value would now be just $15bn. The best outcome for Musk is to find a competent chief.
Musk should replace himself with Sheryl Sandberg or Sarah Friar Republished from Source https://www.ft.com/content/57b18b1c-78ce-48f8-9f0f-479d979b7cbe via https://www.ft.com/companies/technology?format=rss