She knows she is eagerly awaited.
Linda Yaccarino was named CEO of Twitter 2.0 on May 12, succeeding owner Elon Musk.
Her arrival at the helm of the platform, which since October has become a bastion of conservatives in the name of free speech, was very badly received by many Musk fans.
They see it as the return of the platform’s shadow banning and also the renunciation by the billionaire of the ideals he has defended in recent months.
“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” the tech mogul announced on May 12. “@LindaYacc will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology. Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app.”
Criticism from conservatives and millions of Musk fans wasted no time.
“During her interview with you, she was most excited about your initiative to limit reach of tweets which are deemed hateful. ‘Freedom of speech, not freedom of reach’,” blasted out one Twitter user, in response to Musk’s news.
Yaccarino interviewed the billionaire last month during an advertising conference in Miami.
“She represents advertisers, and her natural inclination is to limit speech, and pander to those who push woke ideology on the world. You will have to watch her like a hawk,” the user continue, summarizing most of the criticism against Yaccarino. “She was also thrilled to spend $100,000,000 on social justice initiatives while at NBC, and forwarded government authoritarian propaganda that the way back to a normal life was to ‘wear your mask!’ No doubt she’ll bring in advertising revenue in the short term, but she’s a long-term mistake.”
The user refers to the fact that Yaccarino, who was Chairman, Global Advertising & Partnerships at NBCUniversal prior to joining Twitter, promoted masks and vaccines to fight the coronavirus.
“I hear your concerns, but don’t judge too early,” Musk responded to the user. “I am adamant about defending free speech, even if it means losing money.”
The other criticism from users is that Yaccarino worked with the World Economic Forum (WEF), an organization that Musk accused in January of wanting to rule the world without people’s approval.
“I hope I hope I hope I’m wrong, I WANT to be wrong,” said one Twitter user. “She’s not some onetime visitor of Davos. She’s a junior leader within the org & chair of committees, which doesnt happen just because you’re a nice person.🙄 You have to be connected to these reptiles heavily to get that.”
According to Yaccarino’s LinkedIn profile, she is “the Chairman of the WEF’s Taskforce on Future of Work and sits on the WEF’s media, entertainment and culture industry Governors Steering committee.”
‘Transform This Business Together’
One day after her appointment, Yaccarino has just spoken up, posting two messages on Twitter. She says she is “excited” and ready to “transform” the platform.
“Thank you @elonmusk!” the new Chief Executive Officer posted on May 13. “I’ve long been inspired by your vision to create a brighter future. I’m excited to help bring this vision to Twitter and transform this business together!”
She then added: “I see I have some new followers👀…👋 I’m not as prolific as @elonmusk (yet!), but I’m just as committed to the future of this platform. Your feedback is VITAL to that future. I’m here for all of it. Let’s keep the conversation going and build Twitter 2.0 together!”
As feedback, Yaccarino got a barrage of critical messages, accusing her of having a progressive and globalist bias.
“Your involvement with the WEF and Ad Council, both which promote state-sponsored propaganda, censorship, and totalitarianism under the guise of ‘public/private partnerships, is the elephant in the room and needs to be addressed,” one Twitter user commented.
“You likely have seen your own highlight reels full of corporate wokeness – I would address those as well. Elon [Musk] is committed to free speech – we need this commitment from you also. We wish you luck in the new role. Don’t let us down.”
She hasn’t responded but she should do so very soon, as Musk has announced that they will both be participating in a live conversation (Spaces) on Twitter as soon as possible.
“As soon as @LindaYacc is ready, we will do a Spaces where you can ask us anything,” the billionaire said on May 12.
Besides the defiance and distrust of millions of Musk fans, Yaccarino also has the Herculean task to help Twitter regain its credibility with advertisers and to restore the lost trust and connection with them. Twitter has suffered an exodus of advertisers spooked by Musk’s laissez-faire approach to content management.