Kara Swisher

Kara Anne Swisher (born December 11, 1962)[1][2] 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.[3] 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 57)
Alma materGeorgetown University, Columbia University
Notable worksCo-founder of Recode
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, and later left that paper to write for The Georgetown Voice, the university's news magazine.[4] In 1985, she earned an MS in journalism from Columbia University.[5]


Swisher worked at the Washington City Paper in Washington, D.C. She interned at The Washington Post in 1986, alongside showrunner Ryan Murphy, and was later hired full-time.[6][7]

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 Industry Standard magazine.[8]

In 2003, with her colleague Walt Mossberg, she launched the All Things Digital conference and later expanded it into a daily blog site called AllThingsD.com. 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 aol.com: 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.[9] In the spring of 2014 they held the inaugural Code Conference near Los Angeles.[10] Vox Media acquired the website in May 2015.[11] 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.[12] In May 2020, Swisher wrote on Twitter that she had not been involved in editing or assigning stories on Recode for many years.[13]

New York TimesEdit

Swisher became a contributing writer to The New York Times Opinion Section in August 2018, focusing on tech.[14] 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.[15]

Other activitiesEdit

Swisher has also served as a judge[16] for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's NYC BigApps competition in NYC.

Alexander Nazaryan in Newsweek has said "many regard [Swisher] as Silicon Valley's premier journalist".[17] In a New York Magazine profile headlined "Kara Swisher is Silicon Valley's Most Feared and Well-Liked Journalist. How Does That Work?", Benjamin Wallace described Swisher as 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".[18]

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."[19]

In 2016, Swisher announced she planned to run for mayor of San Francisco in 2023.[20]

Swisher wrote of her experiences working for The McLaughlin Group in a 2018 Slate article, in which she alleged that host John McLaughlin abused staff and sexually harassed women. Reflecting on his death from prostate cancer in 2016, she wrote, "I’m so glad he’s dead. Seriously, I’m glad he’s dead. He was a jackass. He deserved it."[21]

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." Citing this, Caitlin Flanagan of The Atlantic Monthly observed, "You know the left has really changed in this country when you find its denizens ... lionizing the social attitudes of the corporate monolith Procter & Gamble."[22]

  • Aol.com : 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 teenage sons, and a daughter born in 2019.[23] In 2018 she was divorced from her ex-wife, former U.S. CTO Megan Smith.[24]

In 2011, Swisher nearly lost her life when on a trip to Hong Kong. She began to feel ill and went to the hospital urgently after finding out she was suffering from a stroke, which would be confirmed by the doctors who saved her.[25] She wrote about her experience in a remembrance of Luke Perry, after a stroke led to his death in 2019.[26]

She's known for wearing dark Aviator sunglasses[27] to counter her minor photosensitivity.[28] Swisher identifies politically as a progressive liberal.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Swisher, Kara (December 11, 2019). "Here's my only birthday thought today for those who worry about getting old: "I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun." — Virginia Woolfpic.twitter.com/8FvDra2bvG". @karaswisher. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  2. ^ Cowles, Charlotte (September 5, 2019). "Kara Swisher on Ambition, Bad Bosses, and Having a Baby at 56". The Cut. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  3. ^ "Kara Swisher to Contribute to Opinion". Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  4. ^ Dodderidge, Lili (October 5, 2010). "Top Internet Journalists Talk News". The Hoya. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  5. ^ Williams, Andrea (April 24, 2013). "SO WHAT DO YOU DO, KARA SWISHER, CO-EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF ALLTHINGSD.COM?". Mediabistro. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  6. ^ "Kara Swisher". Columbia Entrepreneurship. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  7. ^ Kara Swisher (May 1, 2020). "Ryan Murphy: What if Hollywood had welcomed diversity from the beginning?". Recode Decode (Podcast). Vox Media. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ Wasserman, Todd (January 1, 2014). "Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher Launch Tech News Site 'Re/code'". Mashable. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  10. ^ Hunter, Matt (May 28, 2014). "Salesforce.com CEO: I run my business on my phone". CNBC. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "What's the Deal With Elon Musk? Ashlee Vance Tells All on 'Re/code Decode' Podcast". Recode. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Kara Swisher [@karaswisher] (May 20, 2020). "While I typically ignore this type of trolling, FYI I have not edited the recode web site for many years now and am not involved in its editing or assigning at all for that long too but keep up with the bad reporting and worse writing. It's embarrassing and more than a little sad" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^ "Kara Swisher". Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  15. ^ "Kara Swisher on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved October 8, 2018.[non-primary source needed]
  16. ^ "Mayor Bloomberg Announces Winners of NYC BigApps 2.0 Competition". NYC.gov. March 31, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  17. ^ Nazaryan, Alexander (July 12, 2016). "Jeff Bezos wants to rule the world". Newsweek. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Recode's Kara Swisher, Silicon Valley's Disrupter, Plots Political Move". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  20. ^ Green, Emily (April 14, 2016). "Tech journalist Kara Swisher plans to run for San Francisco Mayor". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  21. ^ "I Just Knew I Was Going to Surpass These Guys I Was Working For". Slate. October 18, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  22. ^ Flanagan, Caitlin (January 23, 2019). "The Media Botched the Covington Catholic Story". The Atlantic.
  23. ^ Casserly, Meghan (March 12, 2012). "What Kara Swisher (Really) Thinks About Boys, Girls And Getting More Women into Tech". Forbes. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Nicholas Carlson, Kara Swisher Suffered A "Mini-Stroke," But She Seems To Be OK Oct 19, 2011 businessinsider.com
  26. ^ Swisher, Kara (March 5, 2019). "Opinion | Luke Perry Had a Stroke and Died. I Had One and Lived" – via NYTimes.com.
  27. ^ "Kara Swisher Is Silicon Valley's Most Feared and Well-Liked Journalist. How Does That Work?". Intelligencer.
  28. ^ Ferriss, Tim (June 21, 2018). "The Tim Ferriss Show Transcripts: Kara Swisher (#218)". The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss.
  29. ^ "Loeb Award Winners". UCLA Anderson School of Management. June 28, 2011. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.

External linksEdit