© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his security detail depart the company’s local office in Washington, U.S. January 27, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
By Akash Sriram
(Reuters) -Elon Musk’s selection of a new CEO for Twitter may remove a big distraction for the billionaire and allow him to focus more on Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc, which has been struggling with a drop in demand for its electric vehicles, analysts said.
Shares of the world’s most valuable electric vehicle maker, which have gained 40% this year, rose nearly 3% on Friday. The stock had its worst year in 2022, losing 65%, amid Musk’s on-again, off-again offer for Twitter.
Ever since Musk bought Twitter in a $44 billion deal, Tesla investors have been worried that he may not be able to give his full attention to the company, which is in a price war with upstarts and legacy automakers.
“This is a fractional positive for Tesla shareholders because he will likely spend a little bit more time on Tesla,” said Gene Munster, Managing Partner at Deepwater Asset Management. “However, there are other things that are competing for his time.”
Musk said on Thursday he had found a new CEO for Twitter, without naming the person, and added that he was stepping aside to take on the role of chief technology officer at the company.
Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:)’s NBCUniversal executive Linda Yaccarino was in talks for the top role at the social media platform, according to a source familiar with the matter.
NBCUniversal said on Friday that Yaccarino was leaving the company.
“Tesla investors are likely to celebrate this move too, with Musk’s very hands-on approach at Twitter leading to concerns he had taken his eye off the ball at this EV giant,” Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Sophie Lund-Yates said.
Although Twitter has taken much of Musk’s time since its takeover, he still actively manages several other businesses such as SpaceX and Neuralink. Musk recently formed an AI company called TruthGPT to take on OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc’s Bard.
Musk’s involvement with Twitter has been quite chaotic. He has slashed thousands of jobs at the social media company, fired its top executive team, including its CEO, and has made many changes to its policies and strategy to rely less on ads and more on subscription money.