In a surprise move, Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Twitter, has announced his decision to step down from the post. Musk revealed the news on Friday via Twitter, stating that he has hired a new CEO for X/Twitter, who will take charge in about six weeks. Although Musk did not reveal the name of his successor, the move will see him take on the role of executive chair and CTO, with a focus on overseeing products, software, and sysops in the foreseeable future.
The decision comes after the outgoing CEO announced an update to Twitter, allowing verified users to have early access to an encrypted messaging service. This update is currently only available to verified users. Earlier this week, Musk also shared a tweet about the early version of the encrypted messaging service being launched.
Since acquiring Twitter in October, Musk has made significant changes to the company and its platform, including cutting around 75% of its workforce in an effort to reduce costs. These moves have raised concerns about Twitter’s ability to maintain its platform, especially after a user outage in February that lasted for hours and required an emergency fix.
Musk has also sought to rejuvenate the platform’s subscription offering as a means of supplementing its advertising revenue. Under Twitter’s new subscription, users can gain access to account verification for an $8 monthly fee, which amounts to $96 per year. Previously, Twitter verified celebrities, politicians, journalists, and other prominent figures on a case-by-case basis to authenticate their identities and prevent impersonation.
Although Musk has defended his actions at Twitter as part of an aggressive effort to rescue the company from financial peril, his departure from the CEO role will undoubtedly come as a surprise to many. With the new CEO set to take charge in the coming weeks, the future of Twitter remains uncertain, but it is clear that Musk’s influence on the company will be felt for years to come.
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