Chennai, SRM College set to host Elon Musk’s chosen man Sriram Krishnan- QHN

Sriram Krishnan, the Indian-origin investor handpicked by Elon Musk to revamp Twitter after the business magnate bought the microblogging platform for $44 billion, tweeted about homecoming on October 23. “…I will be back home in Chennai for a few days next month. If anyone here is interested in a meet up especially students!), let us know,” he wrote.

Since then, he has been getting hundreds of requests online for meetings.

His alma mater SRM Engineering College in Kattankulathur, a suburb of Chennai, is gearing up to host Krishnan. “We are very closely working with him and our management is planning something. We will be honouring him,” said an SRM official, who indicated that Krishnan will be visiting the campus. The dates are yet to be confirmed. Musk’s chosen man studied at the college between 2001 and 2005.

At present, Krishnan is a partner at venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz (a16z) that invests in cryptocurrency and start-ups. On October 31, Krishnan made it public that he will be “helping out” Musk “temporarily” in Twitter with some others.

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 Musk’s road map, the Twitter verification or blue tick will be made a paid feature, where customers may have to pay around $20 for the label. Krishnan’s prior experience with Twitter (between 2017 and 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.

In addition to Twitter, he has led product and engineering teams at Meta (2013-16) and Microsoft (2005-11). After completing studies, Krishnan shifted to Washington, where he worked with Microsoft till 2011 on various application programming interfaces and services for Windows Azure. At Meta (Facebook), he was instrumental in creating Facebook Audience Network, which is now one of the leading monetisation solutions for publishers in the industry. Krishnan and his wife Aarthi Ramamurthy, both born and brought up in Chennai, also met during their college days in 2003.

His LinkedIn profile mentions that Krishnan became a part of Andreesen Horowitz in January 2021 and that the venture capital firm is a major investor in Clubhouse, a social audio application. Krishnan and his wife also host a show on Clubhouse called “Good Time Show”, in which prominent personalities such as Musk, Meta’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and American fashion designer Virgil Abloh have made appearances.

After the merger, Musk became the sole director of Twitter as the erstwhile directors — Bret Taylor, Parag Agrawal, Omid Kordestani, David Rosenblatt, Martha Lane Fox, Patrick Pichette, Egon Durban, Fei-Fei Li and Mimi Alemayehou — are no longer a part of the company. According to media reports, Musk is likely to revamp the board as well, as he termed the changes “temporary”.

After taking charge, Musk fired several officials of Twitter’s top leadership, including Chief Executive Officer Agrawal, and also set up a content moderation council. According to media reports, Musk is set to appoint a new product leadership for the company.

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