Elon Musk Considers Possible New Twitter CEO Including PayPal Friends

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The always unpredictable Elon Musk takes an unusually deliberate approach in selecting a potential new CEO for its latest asset, the social media platform Twitter: Hey would consider potential candidates from the so-called “PayPal mafia,” including technology investor Joe Lonsdale, Fox Business has learned.

Londsdale, who runs the investment firm 8VC and is a co-founder of the software company Palantir, has been an outspoken advocate of Musk’s approach to changing Twitter to include more diverse voices outside of the progressive Silicon Valley ecosystem and to end make what some critics say censorship by previous administration. He and Musk worked together at PayPal, the digital payment platform Musk helped create before he became head of Telsa, the world’s largest electric car maker.

“If I had to guess, it would be Joe Lonsdale he’s looking for or someone from the ‘PayPal mob,’ said a Wall Street CEO who speaks regularly with Musk. “Most corporate executives wouldn’t want to work for Elon. His friends at PayPal know him well and may understand him.”

Twitter headquarters

Twitter Headquarters is on display in San Francisco, California, United States on November 22, 2022. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Musk, one of the three richest people in the world, took over Twitter in October after a months-long battle with management, where he tried to decline his initial offer of $44 billion and pay a lower price during a market correction, reported Fox Business. . He was forced to go through with the deal on its original terms amid a heated battle with former Twitter management in Delaware Chancery Court.

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Since then, Musk’s stewardship of Twitter, the ubiquitous but often money-losing social media platform, has been anything but smooth. Critics say it’s indicative of his idiosyncratic, seat-of-the-pants management style at Tesla, which has been a constant source of controversy and scrutiny from regulators despite its current success.

That investigation includes accounting irregularities, claims about his self-driving cars, while Musk has charted an uneven path to profitability. In 2018, Tesla had to settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission after Musk tweeted he had a deal to take the company – then under significant financial strain – private at a premium to its share price, when no such deal apparently existed.

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Musk has also disrupted the status quo on Twitter. He immediately reduced costs and laid off staff he had to hire back. His belief that the company was censoring speech, including voices that deviated from leftist conversation topics and demanding changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies, angered many of the platform’s leftist staffers and programmers.

Musk recently added another wrinkle to the drama: he started looking for a new Twitter CEO. The move came after Musk a poll of users about its leadership during the weekend. The result was a vote of no confidence with 57% of respondents saying they would prefer a new person to run the platform.

Elon Musk’s Twitter profile displayed on a screen and the reflected Twitter logo displayed on a phone screen can be seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on April 14, 2022. ((Photo illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

That led to what is being described as a soft CEO search by Musk without the involvement of an executive search firm, according to those in the know.

Lonsdale or one of Musk’s former teammates at PayPal are now considered top picks for the job, as many other candidates would hesitate to work for perhaps the least conventional CEO in corporate America, according to people who know Musk.

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The decision to appoint a new CEO is unlikely to be imminent, if at all, according to bankers familiar with Musk’s mindset. “I don’t think it’s a question right now who he’s going to hire,” said a banker who does business with Musk. “For now and maybe longer it will be Elon. He loves the attention of Twitter.”

Elon Musk on Twitter

TOPSHOT – This video is taken from a video posted to the Twitter account of billionaire Tesla chief Elon Musk on Oct. 26, 2022, showing himself holding a sink as he enters Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. Elon Musk changed his Twitter pr ((Photo by Elon Musk/Twitter account/AFP via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

Musk’s attorney, Mike Ringler, declined to comment. Lonsdale did not respond to an email or call for comment.

According to Bloomberg, David Sacks, a former PayPal executive, Jason Calcanis, an internet entrepreneur, and Sriram Krishnan of the technology investment firm Andreessen Horowitz are other possible candidates for Twitter CEOs.

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Lonsdale, for his part, was an early supporter of Musk’s initial bid to take over Twitter, even as it was turned down by management. Court documents show that he emailed Musk at the time in support of Musk’s intent to reign in Twitter’s content moderation progressive leanings and described how he met with top Republicans to stop Musk’s then-hostile takeover.

And Lonsdale has been a proponent of Musk’s latest attempt to rock Twitter and the tech world at large — the so-called release of the Twitter files. Musk has been sifting through emails from several independent journalists of internal discussions about how previous management collaborated with the FBI to suppress what it perceived as disinformation.

This effort included smothering tweets that allegedly damaged Joe Biden when he was a presidential candidate in the 2020 election against former President Donald Trump.

The Twitter files show that previous Twitter management worked with FBI officials to block the platform’s 2020 New York Post coverage of the laptop of Hunter Biden, President Biden’s troubled son, from the platform. The contents of the laptop showed Hunter Biden associating with prostitutes, taking drugs and using his father’s influence to conduct business around the world.

There was some evidence in The Post’s coverage that the elder Biden may have received payments from his son from his business dealings. The then-candidate and now president Biden has denied knowing anything about his son’s business activities or receiving any money.

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But Twitter refused to allow the Post story to spread on its platform during the heat of the 2020 presidential election, potentially helping Biden to a narrow victory over Trump.

Speaking on Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria,” Lonsdale said the Twitter files show that social media, along with forces within government, are “rejecting certain people. They’re letting other people show up. This has a huge impact on the election. “

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