Kara Swisher

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Kara Swisher
Kara Swisher crop.jpg
Swisher at South by Southwest 2019
Born (1962-12-11) December 11, 1962 (age 58)[1]
EducationGeorgetown University (BS) Columbia University (MS)
Years active1994 - present
Notable work
Co-founder of Recode
(m. 1999; div. 2018)

Amanda Katz
(m. 2020)

Kara Anne Swisher (/ˈkɛərə/ KAIR) is an American journalist. Described by Newsweek as Silicon Valley's "most powerful tech journalist",[2] she is an opinion writer for The New York Times, a contributing editor at New York, the host of the podcast Sway, and the co-host of the podcast Pivot.[3]

Swisher, who previously wrote for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, co-founded Recode, the All Things Digital conference and the online publication All Things D. She has covered the internet since 1994.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

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.[5] In 1985, she earned an MS in journalism from Columbia University.[6]


Swisher worked at the Washington City Paper in Washington, D.C. She interned at The Washington Post in 1986 and was later hired full-time.[7][8]

The Wall Street Journal[edit]

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.[9]

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. In 2021, it was announced that she signed a two-book memoir deal with Simon & Schuster.[10]


On January 1, 2014, Swisher and Mossberg struck out on their own with the Recode website, based in San Francisco.[11] In the spring of 2014 they held the inaugural Code Conference near Los Angeles.[12] Vox Media acquired the website in May 2015.[13] 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.[14]

In September 2018, Recode and Vox Media launched Pivot, a semi-weekly news commentary podcast co-hosted by Swisher and Scott Galloway.

In April 2020, New York Magazine announced Pivot would be joining the magazine's properties, subsequently dropping the Recode branding, and Swisher would also be joining as editor-at-large.[15] In May 2020, Swisher wrote on Twitter that she had not been involved in editing or assigning stories on Recode for many years.[16]

The New York Times[edit]

Swisher became a contributing writer to the New York Times' Opinion section in August 2018, focusing on tech.[17] She has written about topics such as 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.[18]

In September 2020, the Times premiered Sway, a semiweekly podcast hosted by Swisher focused on the subject of power and those who wield it[19], with Nancy Pelosi featured as her first guest.[20] Other guests have included Georgia politician and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, actor Sacha Baron Cohen, Apple CEO Tim Cook, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, United States Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, film director Spike Lee, Parler CEO John Matze, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, and USSF CSO Gen. John W. Raymond.

Other activities[edit]

Swisher has also served as a judge[21] 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".[22] 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".[23]

Swisher is considered a tough interviewer 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."[24]

In 2016, Swisher announced she planned to run for mayor of San Francisco in 2023.[25]

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."[26]

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."[27] Citing Swisher's comment as an example of how inaccurate many media accounts of the story had been, 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."[28] Swisher apologized in a follow-up tweet two days later.[29]


  • 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 the Digital Future New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003. ISBN 9781400049646, OCLC 58726021

Personal life[edit]

Swisher has two teenage sons, and a daughter born in 2019.[30] In 2018 she divorced her wife, former U.S. CTO and Google executive Megan Smith.[31] She married Amanda Katz in 2020.[32]

In 2011 Swisher suffered a "mini-stroke" while on a flight to Hong Kong, where she was subsequently hospitalized and put on anticoagulant medication. She wrote about the experience in a remembrance of Luke Perry, after a stroke led to his death in 2019.[33][34][35]

Swisher is known for wearing dark aviator sunglasses even while indoors, explaining "I have light sensitivity a little; I just don’t like bright lights."[36][37] Swisher identifies religiously as raised Catholic, now agnostic.[38]



  1. ^ "BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Kara Swisher, contributing NYT opinion writer and host of the 'Sway' and 'Pivot' podcasts". www.msn.com. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  2. ^ EST, Seung Lee On 11/9/15 at 3:37 PM (November 9, 2015). "The Cold War Between Yahoo and Kara Swisher". Newsweek. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Schwab, Katharine (May 28, 2020). "'All the lanes are mine': Kara Swisher remains tech's most outspoken watchdog". Fast Company. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  4. ^ "Kara Swisher". Wall Street Journal. December 28, 2000. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  5. ^ Dodderidge, Lili (October 5, 2010). "Top Internet Journalists Talk News". The Hoya. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  6. ^ Williams, Andrea (April 24, 2013). "SO WHAT DO YOU DO, KARA SWISHER, CO-EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF ALLTHINGSD.COM?". Mediabistro. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  7. ^ "Kara Swisher". Columbia Entrepreneurship. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ "Book Deals: Week of July 27, 2020". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  11. ^ Wasserman, Todd (January 1, 2014). "Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher Launch Tech News Site 'Re/code'". Mashable. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  12. ^ Hunter, Matt (May 28, 2014). "Salesforce.com CEO: I run my business on my phone". CNBC. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "What's the Deal With Elon Musk? Ashlee Vance Tells All on 'Re/code Decode' Podcast". Recode. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  15. ^ "Pivot Podcast Joins New York Magazine". New York Magazine. April 13, 2020. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  16. ^ @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.
  17. ^ "Kara Swisher". Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  18. ^ "Kara Swisher on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved October 8, 2018.[non-primary source needed]
  19. ^ "Introducing "Sway," a New Interview Podcast Hosted by Kara Swisher". The New York Times Company. September 10, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  20. ^ "Introducing 'Sway' With Kara Swisher". The New York Times. September 10, 2020. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  21. ^ "Mayor Bloomberg Announces Winners of NYC BigApps 2.0 Competition". NYC.gov. March 31, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  22. ^ Nazaryan, Alexander (July 12, 2016). "Jeff Bezos wants to rule the world". Newsweek. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "Recode's Kara Swisher, Silicon Valley's Disrupter, Plots Political Move". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  25. ^ Green, Emily (April 14, 2016). "Tech journalist Kara Swisher plans to run for San Francisco Mayor". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  26. ^ "I Just Knew I Was Going to Surpass These Guys I Was Working For". Slate. October 18, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  27. ^ https://mobile.twitter.com/karaswisher/status/1086735766997344261
  28. ^ Flanagan, Caitlin (January 23, 2019). "The Media Botched the Covington Catholic Story". The Atlantic.
  29. ^ https://twitter.com/karaswisher/status/1087443815269584897
  30. ^ Casserly, Meghan (March 12, 2012). "What Kara Swisher (Really) Thinks About Boys, Girls And Getting More Women into Tech". Forbes. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ Sherman, Jake; Palmer, Anna; Ross, Garrett; Okun, Eli. "POLITICO Playbook PM: White House floats a Trump speech as the outbreak spreads". POLITICO. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  33. ^ Ferriss, Tim (June 21, 2018). "The Tim Ferriss Show Transcripts: Kara Swisher (#218)". The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss.
  34. ^ Nicholas Carlson, Kara Swisher Suffered A "Mini-Stroke," But She Seems To Be OK Oct 19, 2011 businessinsider.com
  35. ^ Swisher, Kara (March 5, 2019). "Opinion | Luke Perry Had a Stroke and Died. I Had One and Lived" – via NYTimes.com.
  36. ^ "Kara Swisher Is Silicon Valley's Most Feared and Well-Liked Journalist. How Does That Work?". Intelligencer.
  37. ^ Ferriss, Tim (June 21, 2018). "The Tim Ferriss Show Transcripts: Kara Swisher (#218)". The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss.
  38. ^ "Apple goes 5G, the Feds want to break up Google Chrome, and Fareed Zakaria on lessons from 2020". Pivot--Voxmedia Podcast Network. October 13, 2020.
  39. ^ "Loeb Award Winners". UCLA Anderson School of Management. June 28, 2011. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  40. ^ Kelly, Adam (May 28, 2020). "Announcing Fast Company's first-ever Queer 50 list". Fast Company. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  41. ^ "Announcing Fast Company's second annual Queer 50 list". Fast Company. Retrieved June 3, 2021.

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