Sriram Krishnan: The Indian-American behind Twitter

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Sriram Krishnan

Print

Image Source: India Today

Sriram Krishnan is believed to be one of Elon Musk’s closest associates running Twitter behind the scene. Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, fired thousands of employees last week, which has caused a big stir.

Many employees found out they were fired when they couldn’t access their emails, which was a controversial way to do it. So naturally, this made people angry and frustrated, and even sue Mr. Musk.

The company immediately fired some of the most influential people.

In their place, Mr. Musk is said to have put together a small team of friends and close confidants and given them the job of making Twitter work the way he wants it to.

Sriram Krishnan, a software engineer from India who used to work for Twitter but left the company last year, seems to be one of them.

Mr. Krishnan tweeted last week that he was “temporarily helping Mr. Musk.”

Since then, his name has been talked about in India, where many people are angry about how former CEO Parag Agrawal and other executives with Indian roots were fired.

How Musk and Sriram Krishnan met

It’s also hard to say how close he is to Mr. Musk, though many regard him as a member of Musk’s “inner circle” many times.

In an interview with Marina Mogilko, who runs a YouTube channel called Silicon Valley Girl, Mr. Krishnan said that he and his wife, Aarthi Ramamurthy, first met Mr. Musk when he helped with “something Twitter-related” a few years ago and that they “built a relationship through that.”

The couple also met Mr. Musk “several years ago” when they were given a private tour of SpaceX’s headquarters in California.

But Mr. Musk’s appearance on a talk shows that the couple hosted on Clubhouse in February 2021 was their most famous interaction.

The world’s richest man had just shown up on an invite-only app for an exclusive. So naturally, people on social media couldn’t believe it, and the show started to get a lot of attention.

As Mr. Musk talked about life on Mars, the possibility of aliens, and how one of his companies had wired up a monkey’s brain to play video games with his mind, the chatroom quickly reached the Clubhouse limit of 5,000 listeners at once.

The Good Time Show, remains a massive hit in the US, even though it is now on other platforms.

According to the company website, a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen says that Mr. Krishnan is “possibly the only person in the world to have served in senior product positions in the three biggest social platforms of our time.” The 37-year-old has worked at Microsoft, Yahoo, Snap, and Facebook in the past, as well as Twitter.

Ms. Ramamurthy, on the other hand, worked at both Facebook and Netflix before starting two businesses.

People have called them a “tech power couple” because they both have a lot of connections.

The beginning in Chennai

Sriram Krishnan was born in the southern Indian city of Chennai into a middle-class family that he said was “very traditional.”

His life changed when he talked his father into buying him a computer, a luxury in the late 1990s.

But he still needed the internet because he couldn’t afford a dial-up connection.

So he bought books on coding so he could teach himself the basics and work on it every night.

In 2002, when Mr. Krishnan was studying engineering at Anna University in Chennai, he met Ms. Ramamurthy online. The two people kept talking on Yahoo Messenger for a whole year before meeting in person.

Read Also: Twitter: A timeline of ten days of chaos 

A few months later, one of Mr. Krishnan’s blog posts about Microsoft caught the eye of a company executive, who hired the couple in 2005. This was their big break.