Sriram Krishnan: the Indian-American in Musk’s “inner circle” on Twitter

San Francisco: After purging his Twitter, Elon Musk reportedly assembled his own small team — of friends and confidants — and tasked them with implementing his vision for the social media platform.

Apparently it includes Sriram Krishnan, an Indian-born software engineer and former Twitter executive who left the company last year, according to a BBC report.

Last week, Krishnan, who now works at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz or a16z, tweeted that he was “temporarily helping Mr. Musk”, right after former CEO Parag Agrawal and CEO were unceremoniously fired. other leaders of Indian origin.

It is not immediately clear in what capacity Krishnan will join Twitter, the BBC said, adding that when contacted for comment, Krishnan said he “cannot help with anything related to Twitter”.

It’s also hard to say how close his association with Musk is at this point, though reports have repeatedly described him as part of his “inner circle.”

In a 2021 interview with a YouTube channel called Silicon Valley Girl, Krishnan said he and his wife Aarthi Ramamurthy first met Musk when he helped out with “something Twitter-related” there. a few years ago and that they had “built a relationship through it”. .

The couple also met Musk during a private tour of SpaceX’s California headquarters “several years ago,” according to The New York Times.

But the biggest exchange between them came in February 2021 when Musk appeared on a talk show the couple hosted on Clubhouse.

Social media erupted in disbelief – the world’s richest man had just shown up on an invite-only app for an exclusive – and the show began trending strongly, the BBC reported.

The Good Time Show, which has since moved to other platforms, continues to be extremely popular in the United States. The podcast offers insight into the overlapping worlds of internet culture, politics, and the latest developments in Silicon Valley, where Krishnan and Ramamurthy are well-known personalities.

Marc Andreessen, co-founder of a16z, says Mr Krishnan is “perhaps the only person in the world to have held leadership positions at the three biggest social platforms of our time”, according to the website. ‘company. Besides Twitter, the 37-year-old has worked at Microsoft, Yahoo, Snap and Facebook in the past.

Ramamurthy worked at Facebook and Netflix before starting two of his own companies.

Together they have been described as a well-connected “tech power couple”.

Krishnan was born in Chennai into a “very traditional” middle-income household. His life changed when he convinced his father to buy him a computer – a luxury in the late 1990s, he told the YouTube channel.

“It cost around 60,000 to 70,000 rupees, a big chunk of my dad’s paycheck,” he said during the 2021 interview. “I told him I would use it for my studies.”

But he still had no internet because a dial-up connection was expensive and unaffordable.

So he bought coding books instead to learn the basics and practiced every night.

Krishnan met Ramamurthy online in 2002 when he was studying engineering at Anna University in Chennai. “A mutual friend wanted to start a coding project, so he decided to bring the two cheesiest people he knew — me and Aarthi — on board,” he said earlier on the YouTube channel.

“One of our first dates was watching a bit-torrent copy of a 1999 Silicon Valley movie in my little bedroom,” Krishnan said in the interview.

Their big break came a few months later when one of Krishnan’s Microsoft blog posts was noticed by an executive at the company, who then hired the couple in 2005.

In 2007 Krishnan moved to the United States and Ramamurthy joined him six months later.

After working at Microsoft, the couple moved on to other big tech companies. They obtained American citizenship in 2017.

Last December, they began their careers as podcasters — a decision born out of pandemic-fueled boredom, Krishnan has explained in the past.

So they decided to head to the Clubhouse, which has become popular during the pandemic, to have conversations about the tech space. The interviews are woven with analysis and candid repartee with experts, including Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, the BBC said.

Krishnan has been an open admirer of Musk in the past, describing him as an “inspirational person and an iconic founder”.

He also openly supported Musk’s vision for Twitter and criticized practices such as de-platforming on the microblogging website.

“Having extrajudicial internet cops driving law enforcement on your platform is the path to dystopian authoritarianism,” he wrote on Twitter last month.

There is speculation that Musk could have convinced Mr Krishnan – a cryptocurrency expert – to integrate his bitcoin doge into Twitter, the BBC report added.

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