Nearly five months after posting a poll on Twitter asking his followers if he should step down as CEO of Twitter, and having 58% saying yes, Elon Musk has finally abided and has chosen his substitute: American media executive Linda Yaccarino.
Musk may be freeing himself from his time-consuming Twitter role but also as an attempt to salvage the financial status of the platform since, despite being extremely popular and influential, Twitter has been losing money even before his purchase of the platform.
Yaccarino has had quite an illustrious career, having become executive vice president and chief operating officer of ad sales after working for Turner Entertainment for 15 years. Her work was marked by close collaborations with big brands, finding opportunities to have them featured in television shows. She even convinced brands to be advertised in risqué shows, such as Sex and the City.
She joined NBCUniversal in 2011, being credited as instrumental in launching that company’s streaming service, Peacock. In 2014 she also participated in the Ad Council, tenuring as the chair of its board of directors from January 2021 to June 2022. In 2018 she was appointed by President Donald Trump to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, and during the aforementioned tenure, she partnered with the Biden Administration to create a coronavirus vaccine campaign that featured Pope Francis. She also chaired the “Future of Work” task force for the world Economic Forum.
These associations with the notoriously globalist WEF and the Biden Administration have worried conservative commentators and outlets that Elon Musk would be walking back on his promise of making Twitter a trustworthy free speech platform. They argue that Yaccarino is politically and ideologically compromised and that she would impose the same restrictions that are now infamously associated with Twitter’s previous management.
Despite his skepticism for the WEF, even saying it is” increasingly becoming an unelected world government,” Musk has stated that he doesn’t see Yaccarino’s links to the organization as an impediment to his commitment to free speech, adding that, quote, “the commitment to open source transparency and accepting a wide range of viewpoints remains unchanged.”
The fact that Musk has seemingly caved to pressure from the Turkish Government to censor tweets ahead of Turkey’s elections has only exacerbated worries from both sides of the political aisle.
Yaccarino is scheduled to step up as the CEO of Twitter about six weeks from her appointment, while Musk will remain as executive chairman and chief technology officer. What this means for the platform’s future remains to be seen.