Open main menu

Kara Anne Swisher (born December 11, 1962) is an American technology business journalist and co-founder of Recode. She became a contributing writer to The New York Times Opinion Section in 2018.[1] Previously she wrote for The Wall Street Journal, serving as co-executive editor of All Things Digital.

Kara Swisher
Swisher at South by Southwest 2019
Swisher at South by Southwest 2019
Born (1962-12-11) December 11, 1962 (age 56)
Alma materGeorgetown University, Columbia University
Notable worksCo-founder of Recode
Megan Smith
(m. 2008; div. 2018)

Early lifeEdit

Swisher went to Princeton Day School from 1976 to 1980. She graduated from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service with a BS degree in 1984. She wrote for The Hoya, Georgetown's school newspaper, but later left that paper to write for The Georgetown Voice, the university's news magazine.[2] In 1985, she earned an MS in journalism from Columbia University.[3]


Swisher worked at an alternative newspaper in Washington, D.C., and The Washington Post, where she started as an intern and was later hired full-time.

Wall Street JournalEdit

Swisher joined The Wall Street Journal in 1997, working from its bureau in San Francisco. She created and wrote Boom Town, a column devoted to the companies, personalities and culture of Silicon Valley which appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal's Marketplace section and online. During that period, she was cited as the most influential reporter covering the Internet by the Industry Standard magazine.[4]

In 2003 with her colleague Walt Mossberg she launched the All Things Digital conference and later expanded it into a daily blog site called The conference featured interviews by Swisher and Mossberg of top technology executives, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Larry Ellison, all of whom appeared on stage without prepared remarks or slides.


She is the author of How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web, published by Times Business Print Books in July 1998. The sequel, There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future, was published in the fall of 2003 by Crown Business Print Books.


On January 1, 2014, Swisher and Mossberg struck out on their own with the Recode website, based in San Francisco, California.[5] In the spring of 2014 they held the inaugural Code Conference near Los Angeles.[6] Vox Media acquired the website in May 2015.[7] A month later in June 2015, they launched Recode Decode, a weekly podcast in which Swisher interviews prominent figures in the technology space with Stewart Butterfield featured as the first guest.[8]

New York TimesEdit

Swisher became a contributing writer to The New York Times Opinion Section in August 2018, focusing on tech.[9] She has written about Elon Musk, Kevin Systrom's departure from Instagram, Google and censorship and an internet Bill of Rights. She also answers questions weekly during live videos on Twitter.[10]

Other projects and accoladesEdit

Swisher has also served as a judge[11] for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's NYC BigApps competition in NYC.

Newsweek has said "many regard [Swisher] as Silicon Valley's premier journalist".[12] In a profile headlined "Kara Swisher is Silicon Valley's Most Feared and Well-Liked Journalist. How Does That Work?", New York Magazine said Swisher is one of the "major power brokers of tech reporting" whose "combination of access and toughness has made [her] a preeminent arbiter of status in a Silicon Valley".[13]

Swisher is considered a tough interview by many. She told Rolling Stone writer Claire Hoffman, "A lot of these people I cover are babies", Swisher says. "I always call them papier-mâché – they just wilt."[14]

In 2016, Swisher announced she planned to run for mayor of San Francisco in 2023.[15]

In January 2019, Swisher told people who disapproved of a Gillette advertisement, following the January 2019 Lincoln Memorial confrontation "And to all you aggrieved folks who thought this Gillette ad was too much bad-men-shaming, after we just saw it come to life with those awful kids and their fetid smirking harassing that elderly man on the Mall: Go fuck yourselves."[16]

  • : how Steve Case beat Bill Gates, nailed the netheads, and made millions in the war for the web. New York: Random House International, 1999. ISBN 9780812931914, OCLC 313499003
  • Kara Swisher; Lisa Dickey There must be a pony in here somewhere : the AOL Time Warner debacle and the quest for a digital future New York : Three Rivers Press, 2003. ISBN 9781400049646, OCLC 58726021

Personal lifeEdit

Swisher has two sons[17] and is divorced from her ex-wife, former U.S. CTO Megan Smith.[18]. In 2011, Kara Swisher nearly lost her life when on a trip to Hong Kong she began to feel ill and go to the hospital urgently after finding out she was suffering from a stroke, which would be confirmed by the doctors who saved her.[19] She mentioned about this case in a text in memory of Luke Perry (he who died in 2019 because of the same thing that almost killed her).[20]



  1. ^ "Kara Swisher to Contribute to Opinion". Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  2. ^ Dodderidge, Lili (October 5, 2010). "Top Internet Journalists Talk News". The Hoya. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  3. ^ Williams, Andrea (April 24, 2013). "SO WHAT DO YOU DO, KARA SWISHER, CO-EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF ALLTHINGSD.COM?". Mediabistro. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  4. ^ O'Brien, Chris (October 19, 2003), "OPINION: Book Explores What Went Wrong in AOL Time Warner Merger", San Jose Mercury News, retrieved January 27, 2010
  5. ^ Wasserman, Todd (January 1, 2014). "Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher Launch Tech News Site 'Re/code'". Mashable. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  6. ^ Hunter, Matt (May 28, 2014). " CEO: I run my business on my phone". CNBC. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Network Radio Executives Spencer Brown and David Landau partner with VC Michael Rolnick to launch new venture called DGital Media to create, distribute and monetize audio programs". PR Newswire. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "What's the Deal With Elon Musk? Ashlee Vance Tells All on 'Re/code Decode' Podcast". Recode. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  9. ^ "Kara Swisher". Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  10. ^ "Kara Swisher on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved October 8, 2018.[non-primary source needed]
  11. ^ "Mayor Bloomberg Announces Winners of NYC BigApps 2.0 Competition". March 31, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  12. ^ Nazaryan, Alexander (July 12, 2016). "Jeff Bezos wants to rule the world". Newsweek. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  13. ^ Wallace, Benjamin (July 15, 2015). "Kara Swisher Is Silicon Valley's Most Feared and Well-Liked Journalist. How Does That Work?". New York. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "Recode's Kara Swisher, Silicon Valley's Disrupter, Plots Political Move". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  15. ^ Green, Emily (April 14, 2016). "Tech journalist Kara Swisher plans to run for San Francisco Mayor". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  16. ^ Flanagan, Caitlin (January 23, 2019). "The Media Botched the Covington Catholic Story". The Atlantic.
  17. ^ Casserly, Meghan (March 12, 2012). "What Kara Swisher (Really) Thinks About Boys, Girls And Getting More Women into Tech". Forbes. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  18. ^ Dutton, Jack (September 5, 2014). "Here's What We Know About Megan Smith, The New CTO of the USA". Business Insider. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Loeb Award Winners". UCLA Anderson School of Management. June 28, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2019.

External linksEdit