Technology, Top Stories

After firing two desis, Musk turns to a third for help

Chief executive Parag Agrawal (left) was fired by Elon Musk immediately after he took over Twitter last week.

Chennai-born techie Sriram Krishnan “helping out” new boss at Twitter “temporarily”

After firing chief executive Parag Agrawal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk has turned to another Indian American, Sriram Krishnan to help him restructure the micro blogging platform.

Chennai-born Krishnan, a technology executive and partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, acknowledged Monday that he is “helping out” Musk, who has appointed himself CEO of Twitter after dissolving its board of directors.

“Now that the word is out: I’m helping out @elonmusk with Twitter temporarily with some other great people. I (and a 16z) 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 tweeted.

But Krishnan is “still very much in my day job” at @a16zcrypto. “If you’re a crypto founder, you know how to find me!”

READ: Elon Musk fires Parag Agrawal, Vijaya Gadde (October 28, 20220

Musk, who previously changed his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit,” after completing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, has said that the dissolution of the board was “just temporary” while denying “as false” media reports that he plans to fire about a quarter of the the firm’s 7,000 employees.

However, he did not say how Krishnan is “helping out” Twitter amid low morale at the company, leading employees to quit in droves in recent months. Musk’s takeover of twitter has also prompted discussion among users over its future shape with some voicing concerns over possible return of people banned for hate speech or disinformation.

Krishnan joined Andreessen Horowitz in February 2021 where he is anticipated to serve consumer and social markets. His investments include Atlys and he serves on the boards of companies including Hopin.  He previously led product teams at Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Snap.

READ: Twitter takeover: Is Parag Agarwal on the chopping block? (May 2, 2022)

Krishnan rose to additional prominence in 2021 for leading the “Good Time Show” Clubhouse (now YouTube) chat show with his wife Aarthi Ramamurthy that has featured Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Virgil Abloh, as well as Steve Balmer calling from his hot tub.

In early 2022, Variety reported that WME was representing the “tech power couple” of Krishnan and Ramamurthy in film and television projects, as well as additional podcasting work.

Krishnan and Ramamurthy met in college in 2003 through a Yahoo! chat room related to a coding project and began dating in 2006. They live in San Francisco.

With a Bachelor’s in Information Technology from SRM Engineering College, Anna University (2001-2005), Krishnan began working at Microsoft in 2007 as a program manager for Visual Studio.

At Facebook, Sriram built the Facebook Audience Network, a competitive platform to Google’s ad technologies. At Snap he built the company’s ad tech platform shortly before its IPO.

READ: Who is Vijaya Gadde, Indian American executive targeted by Musk? (April 29, 2022)

He then joined Twitter, where he served as senior director of product and contributed to the core user experience, driving a 20% annual user growth rate and launching a redesigned home page and events experience.

In early 2021, Krishnan and Ramamurthy, launched a Clubhouse talk show that “focuses on organic conversations on anything from startups to venture capitalism and cryptocurrencies.”

An early appearance by Musk on The Good Time Show was described as the first show that “broke Clubhouse” by rapidly exceeding the limit of 5,000 simultaneous users.

On that episode, Musk grilled Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev regarding the GameStop trading controversy.  As of December 2021, the show had over 187,000 subscribers, plus 735,000 subscribers between Krishnan and Ramamurthy’s personal Clubhouse accounts.

READ: Indian American Twitter executive in Musk’s crosshairs (April 28, 2022)

During Krishnan’s interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, he described augmented and virtual reality as the future of work, alluding to the then-unannounced Meta concept.

Additional guests have included Tony Hawk, Diane von Furstenberg, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Kanye West, and MrBeast; other topics have included emerging issues such as ConstitutionDAO. In 2022, the Good Time Show moved to YouTube.

READ MORE:

Elon Musk’s first move as Twitter’s new owner has been to fire at least 4 top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal (October 28, 2022)

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