Just hours after billionaire Elon Musk took over microblogging platform Twitter in a $44 billion deal, he ousted some of its top executives, among them was its Indian-origin CEO Parag Agrawal, who was elevated to the post less than a year ago.
Days later, as Musk looks to revamp the social media platform, he has handpicked Sriram Krishnan, another Indian-origin executive, into a core team to bring changes to the social media platform.
Krishnan, who is also a former Twitter employee, is expected to guide Musk in his ambitious plan to monetise the social media giant.
According to media reports, Musk is also set to appoint a new product leadership for the company.
On October 31, Krishnan made it public that he will be “helping out” Musk “temporarily”.
Krishnan, who studied at the SRM Engineering College in Chennai, began his career with Microsoft and is currently a partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (also known by its acronym a16z).
He became a part of Andreesen Horowitz in January 2021. The venture capital firm is a major investor in Clubhouse.
Krishnan’s prior experience with Twitter (2017-2019), when he claims to have driven its growth by 20 per cent year-on-year and launched several products including a redesigned events experience, is expected to be handy for the new stint.
Krishnan shifted to Washington, where he worked with Microsoft till 2011 on various application programming interfaces and services for Windows Azure. In addition to Twitter, he has led product and engineering teams at Meta and Microsoft.
Krishnan and his wife Aarthi Ramamuthy, who has worked in Microsoft, Netflix, and Facebook, host a podcast called the GoodTime Show that has featured among others Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
“I ( and a16z) believe this is a hugely important company and can have great impact on the world and Elon is the person to make it happen,” he added, clarifying, amid speculation that he is in line to be the next CEO, that he is “still very much in my day job at @a16zcrypto. If you’re a crypto founder, you know how to find me!”
‘Bird Is Freed’ But Now Pay $8 For Twitter’s Coveted Blue Tick
Musk has soon realized that Twitter struggles to make money, and he must take some steps. As a Twitter boss, He plans to move away from ad business to a subscription model to make Twitter profitable.
Musk announced his intentions to monetize the blue tick, which attracted several questions from users, including author Stephen King, to which the new Twitter boss responded, “We need to pay the bills somehow.”
Musk said the Twitter verification or blue tick will be made a paid feature, where customers will have to pay $8 for it, adding that the price will be based on “purchasing power”. Earlier, Musk was looking to charge $20 for the verification badge.
A day before acquiring Twitter, Musk reached out to advertisers, saying the
social messaging services wouldn’t devolve into “a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”
Twitter’s blue tick was so far given to select users, including public figures, celebrities, and organizations.
Elon Musk vs Parag Agrawal
Agrawal, 38, was appointed Twitter’s new CEO in November last year after its co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down from the post. Agrawal worked at the social media platform as the Chief Technical Officer before that.
In what was already expected, Musk fired Agrawal the day he completed the $44 billion Twitter deal.
In the past, Musk had accused Agrawal of misleading him and Twitter investors over the number of fake accounts on the social media platform.
Soon after Musk became the new Twitter boss he denied rumours related to layoffs. However, Musk is reportedly planning to cut nearly 3700 jobs at Twitter.