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The rise of Esther Crawford in Elon Musk’s ‘hardcore’ Twitter

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Days after Elon Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, Esther Crawford shared a photo of herself sleeping on the floor of the social media company’s headquarters.

Wrapped in a sleeping bag and wearing an eye mask, she added the caption to her viral post on November 2nd.

Crawford, Twitter’s head of product management, said his old security guards were fired before Musk laid off more than half of the social media group’s 7,500 employees, including most of its top executives, according to current and former staff. became one of the most influential leaders left from the

The 39-year-old said he did it by embodying the “hardcore” vision Musk is trying to instill in other companies, such as Tesla and SpaceX, where long hours are expected. Close people saywith high strength”.

That has allowed her to rise quickly and lead new money-making initiatives, including the Twitter Blue subscription service and early plans to allow payments through the site.

Crawford also became one of the few women at the company to join Musk’s trusted lieutenant. twitteralong with self-improvement or management quotes.

To some insiders, Crawford has the charismatic energy needed to transform Twitter’s volatile business while also being the sensible voice to listen to its impulsive owners. I have. To other employees, she is reviled as a decoy and an opportunist.

“The sleeping bag incident really bothered people,” said one senior staffer, adding that Crawford is one of the few so-called Twitter 1.0 employees who successfully translated Musk’s demands to others under his ownership. “She became a bit of a translator between Elon and the product team,” the person said.

Crawford declined to comment. Mr. Musk did not respond to a request for comment.

According to multiple sources, when Musk first came to San Francisco headquarters just before the deal closed, Crawford introduced himself at Twitter’s onsite coffee shop, Perch, and secured a one-on-one meeting to We discussed her thoughts on payments and creators. someone who knows how to meet

for Musk, as one of the biggest creators on the platform with 126 million followers, her ideas resonated. Others were annoyed. Crawford was reprimanded by her senior executives for speaking directly to Musk over her head, according to people familiar with the company’s operations.

Under Musk, who is looking to diversify its revenue away from its reliance on advertising, Crawford led the introduction of Twitter Blue, an $8 premium subscription service that guarantees users a verified “blue tick.” Did.

After some hiccups, it finally got off the ground late last year, but Crawford admits: Elon is happy to try many things — many fail, but some succeed. ”

Longer term, she will be responsible for Musk’s ambitious plans to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions and e-commerce payments on its platform, according to people familiar with the matter, and its subsidiary Twitter Payments. was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Reported by the platformer.

Crawford first joined Twitter in late 2020 when the company acquired Squad, the video chat startup she founded when the coronavirus pandemic took hold. It has “millions of users” and is funded by seed-stage ventures such as First Round Capital.

Prior to that, she was an early YouTube vlogger herself, and was invited to become Weight Watchers’ Lead Social Media Strategist in the late 2000s after launching her own successful weight loss vlog.

A graduate of Philosophy with a Master’s degree in International Relations, she has also held product marketing roles for several Silicon Valley start-ups and has become an avid Twitter user, posting personal reflections on her life. Did. Growing up in a Christian “cult”” When the timing of her contractions when she gave birth.

Upon joining Twitter as an employee, she will be responsible for finding ways for influencers to make money from the platform and exploring crypto opportunities as head of early-stage betting.

Initially, she did research on what creators wanted from the platform, according to two colleagues. Two colleagues said the results were “cold” because the company wasn’t doing enough for creators at this point. Crawford then worked on plans to accommodate their demands, including her audio feature Spaces, one of Twitter’s most successful updates, and a focus on creator subscriptions.

Several current and former colleagues describe her as empathetic and diplomatic. Her calendar is usually public and she buys custom mugs for her members on the team. Her charm, combined with her startup mentality, has earned her trust in Musk, she said, according to three of her people who have worked with her.

Crawford was responsible for de-escalating tensions at Apple, two people said, including after Musk. quarreled openly Chief Executive Tim Cook fought over the fees the technology group charges app store developers.

Her ideas were not always welcomed. Crawford said Twitter would introduce a feature that would allow users to offer videos of adult content behind paywalls similar to those posted on subscription site OnlyFans, according to two people familiar with the matter. was one of the supporters of the controversial and now-discontinued plan.

Meanwhile, many former staffers resent her being in the spotlight. She regularly posts a mix of Twitter business updates and inspirational corporate talks to her 50,000 followers.

One former senior staffer described her as “bootricking”, adding: It sucks. Given that she’s not a coder, it remains to be seen if Twitter’s engineering team will respect her, another current colleague said.

Crawford seems unperturbed. A background photo of her on her Twitter profile reads: get up believe in yourself. “

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