Elon Musk has announced that Linda Yaccarino will be the new Twitter CEO. Elon Musk announced Friday that Linda Yaccarino, a long-time advertising executive, will take over responsibility for the business operations of Twitter, while Musk will become chief technology officer and focus on product design, software, and other technologies.
Twitter's new chief executive officer will soon be asked five questions.
Can Yaccarino stop the exodus from Twitter of advertisers?
Yaccarino's role as head of advertising at NBCUniveral (from which she resigned on Friday morning) should have been right up her alley: She managed a team of 2,000 people, more than Twitter has employees, who sold advertising across NBC properties. She also played a major role in NBC's ad supported Peacock streaming services. She held a similar position at Turner Broadcasting, where she spent 15 years. Bottom line: She is a consummate professional in the media.
The challenge she faces at Twitter remains enormous: many former major advertisers left the platform after Musk bought the company in October for $44 billion, in protest at Musk's unpredictable behavior. This includes the removal of previous content moderation rules designed to prevent hate speech, misinformation, and extremist views from the platform. Bloomberg reported that Twitter's main source of revenue, advertising, had dropped by 89% in March.
Will Yaccarino work at the San Francisco headquarters or another location?
Musk is notoriously opposed to remote work. It seems impossible that Musk would allow the nominal senior executive of the company to work from home. (We say'seems', because when we asked this question on Twitter, the familiar poop emoji auto-response was sent to all media questions). Yaccarino was most recently based out of New York.
What is Elon Musk really prepared to give up?
It remains to be determined whether Yaccarino will have a short, unhappy tenure or if he will be more successful and stay on for a longer period of time. Twitter is run by Musk at his whim, from the juvenile (poop emojis), to the purely petty and consequential (reinstatement of thousands of banned accounts).
He can have a rapid change in his desires from one day to the next, or even hour to hour. Decisions are made, reversed, or sometimes both, at an alarming rate. Anyone for blue check marks? Yaccarino is a combination of advertising experience, management skills, and adult supervision. The one who needs it most may accept or resist this. Musk has stated that he will continue to be the "executive chairman," so it could either be a huge step back or a small shuffle.
Can Yaccarino navigate the political climate on the new right-wing Twitter?
She has played for both teams and served as a volunteer in the Trump Administration on the President's Council for Sports Fitness and Nutrition. She also helped the Biden administration launch an advertising campaign for the Covid vaccine. She has tweeted and spoken in favor of "free speech," a phrase that is likely to be favored by the man who will continue to be her boss, despite her CEO title.
What does X stand for?
Twitter announced in April that it now does business as X Corp. "Twitter Inc. was merged into X Corp., and has no longer existed," it stated in a filing. X Corp. is a vaguely-defined platform that aims to expand beyond social media into ecommerce and other lucrative areas. 'My aim is to make X an all-encompassing app', he told BBC. Twitter is an accelerator. Having a senior executive with experience in managing and transitioning a major media organization to the digital age on board would be incredibly beneficial for reimagining the (former) Twitter and putting meat on the bones.