Ever unpredictable Elon Musk is taking an unusually measured approach to selecting a potential new CEO for its latest acquisition social media platform Twitter. He It is said to be considering potential candidates for the so-called “PayPal mafia,” including tech investor Joe Lonsdale, Fox Business has learned.
Lonsdale, who runs investment firm 8VC and founded software company Palantir, has been a proponent of Musk’s approach to changing Twitter to include more diverse progressive voices outside the Silicon Valley ecosystem and ending what some critics say is censorship. : former leadership. He and Musk worked together at PayPal, the digital payments platform Musk helped create before he became head of Telsa, the world’s leading maker of electric cars.
“If I had to guess, it would be Joe Lonsdale, who he wants, or someone from the PayPal mafia,” said one Wall Street executive who talks regularly with Musk. “Most business leaders wouldn’t want to work for Elon. His friends at PayPal know him well and maybe understand him.”
Musk, one of the world’s three richest people, acquired Twitter in October after a months-long battle with management in which he tried to scrap his initial $44 billion offer and pay a lower price during a market correction, Fox Business reported. . He was forced to complete the deal on his original terms amid a heated battle with former Twitter management in a Delaware court.
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Since then, Musk’s reign over Twitter, the ubiquitous but often money-losing social media platform, has been anything but smooth. Critics say it’s a testament to his quirky management style at Tesla, which, despite its current success, is a constant source of controversy and scrutiny from regulators.
That investigation includes accounting irregularities, claims made about its self-driving cars, while Musk has charted an uneven path to profitability. In 2018, Tesla had to come to terms Securities and Exchange Commission After Musk tweeted that he had struck a deal to take the company, then under significant financial pressure, private at a premium to its stock price, when apparently no such deal existed.
On Twitter, Musk has equally disrupted the status quo. He immediately cut costs and laid off staff he had to hire back. His belief that the company is censoring speech, including voices that deviate from left-wing discourse and demanding changes to Twitter’s content moderation policy, has angered many of the platform’s left-leaning employees and developers.
Musk recently added a new wrinkle to the drama. he began looking for a new CEO at Twitter. The move came after Musk took a about his leadership in a user survey on weekends. The result was a vote of no confidence, with 57% of respondents saying they were in favor of a new person to lead the platform.
That led to what Musk described as a lean CEO search, without using an executive search firm, to people in the know.
Lonsdale or one of Musk’s former teammates at PayPal is now seen as a top choice for the job, as many other candidates would hesitate to work for perhaps the least conventional CEO in corporate America, according to those who know Musk.
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According to bankers familiar with Musk’s thinking, a decision to appoint a new CEO is not imminent and may not happen at all. “I don’t think who he’s going to appoint at this point,” said one of the bankers dealing with Musk. “Now and maybe longer Elon. He likes the attention of running Twitter.”
Musk’s attorney, Mike Ringler, declined to comment. Lonsdale did not respond to an email or call for comment.
According to Bloomberg, other potential candidates for Twitter CEO include former PayPal executive David Sachs, Internet entrepreneur Jason Kalkanis and Shriram Krishnan of technology investment firm Andreessen Horowitz.
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Lonsdale, for his part, was an early backer of Musk’s initial takeover bid for Twitter even as it was rejected by management. Court documents show he once emailed Musk supporting Musk’s intention to reign in a progressive bent on Twitter’s content moderation and described how he was meeting with Republicans to shut down Musk’s then-hostile power.
And Lonsdale has been a supporter of Musk’s latest effort to shake up Twitter and the tech world in general, the so-called Twitter file release. Musk filtered through e-mails to various independent reporters of internal discussions about how the former leadership worked with the FBI to crack down on what he saw as misinformation.
These efforts included restraining tweets that would hurt Joe Biden as he ran for president in 2020 against former President Donald Trump.
Twitter files show former Twitter management worked with FBI officials to withhold a 2020 New York Post report about the laptop of President Biden’s troubled son, Hunter Biden. The contents of the laptop revealed Hunter Biden’s involvement with prostitutes, using drugs and his father’s influence to do business around the world.
There was some evidence in The Post’s report that the elder Biden may have received payments from his son in business deals. Then-candidate and now President Biden denied that he was aware of his son’s business activities or receiving money.
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But Twitter refused to allow the Post’s story to run on its platform in the heat of the 2020 presidential election, which may have helped give Biden a narrow victory over Trump.
Speaking on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria,” Lonsdale said the Twitter files show that social media, along with forces within the government, are “rejecting some people. They invite other people. How it greatly affects elections.”