Linda Yaccarino: How Elon Musk may have hired his biggest critic to head Twitter
Twitter is getting a new boss after current CEO Elon Musk announced on Friday that he has found a replacement: advertising executive Linda Yaccarino.
The tech billionaire named the new chief executive less than a month after she interviewed him on a panel, titled ‘Twitter 2.0: From Conversations to Partnerships’, hosted by her current employer NBCUniversal.
The event gave an insight into how she views both the tech billionaire and her vision for the future of Twitter, revealing some significant concerns she had about his takeover of the company.
When discussing his tenure so far as the head of Twitter, Mr Musk said it had been “entertaining”, adding “train wrecks arguably are entertaining.”
Ms Yaccarino responded: “Train wrecks happen sometimes if you’re dedicated [but] you’ve got to be dedicated to fixing them.”
After noting that he had gone from a “consumer of a product you loved, to now the owner”, she added: “It might be a ‘be careful what you ask for’ type of thing.”
She also said she did not always like his tweets and suggested Mr Musk should be “held to a different or higher standard” as both the most-followed account on Twitter and its owner.
“A lot of people think you might be too provocative,” she said, adding that he should give up his late night tweeting.
“Will you commit to being a little more specific and not tweet after 3am?” she asked. “People in this room would like to see that. It would make them feel more confident.”
Twitter is seen by Mr Musk as an accelerant to his goal of creating an “everything app”, which he has called X. This will allow users to conduct businesses on the platform, which will be a big draw for advertisers who can target customers with direct in-app purchases.
It is a vision that Ms Yaccarino appeared to favour in her meeting with Mr Musk. In one of her relatively rare tweets, she also recently expressed another shared goal for how “Twitter 2.0” will look: the return of the short-form video-sharing feature Periscope.
Thanks for having me
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2023
She also encouraged Mr Musk to reinstate Twitter’s Influence Council of marketers and advertising executives that allowed industry figures to give direct feedback on how they wanted the platform to look.
She told Mr Musk: “The people in this room are you accelerated path to profitability. But there’s a decent bit of skeptics in the room... There’s people who cannot separate the man, his opinions, and the microphone that he now owns.”
Ms Yaccarino will now potentially take charge of that microphone, offering a way for advertisers who left the platform to credibly distance themselves from the controversial billionaire.
The Independent has contacted NBCUniversal for comment, and Twitter responded with its customary poop emoji.