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X boss Yaccarino lumped with another Elon mess

Published Dec 01, 2023 20:49 Updated Dec 01, 2023 21:30
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© Reuters. X boss Yaccarino lumped with another Elon mess
 
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Every billionaire automobile/space rocket/social media mogul needs an employee like Linda Yaccarino.

Where others might have thrown their hands up in despair, Elon Musk’s right-hand woman and chief executive of X (former Twitter) has gritted her teeth and got on with the job laid out before her.

Not even Musk’s confounding decision to rebrand Twitter to X in August fazed Yaccarino.

“Elon has been talking about X, the everything app, for a very long time,” Yaccarino told CNBC following the bizarre name change. “Even when we announced that I was joining the company, I was joining the company to partner with Elon to transform Twitter into X, the everything app.”

But her remit of keeping advertisers on X – a remit handed down by Musk upon her hiring in March – is proving increasingly difficult.

For a while, advertisers who had left X on grounds of a proliferation of hate speech on the platform since Musk’s takeover appeared to be coming back.

That all fell apart in mid-November, when Musk promoted a post accused by many of containing antisemitic connotations.

All of Yaccarino’s hard work was flushed down the toilet, with major advertisers from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Disney and Warner Bros to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) packing their bags once again.

Yaccarino barely had time to think when, on Wednesday, Musk thought it wise to tell departing advertisers to go f**k themselves.

“If somebody’s going to try to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go f**kyourself. Go. F**k. Yourself. Is that clear?” he told the audience at the New York Times 2023 DealBook Summit.

For Musk’s part, he was regretful for promoting the troublesome post, calling it “perhaps one of the most foolish, if not the most foolish, things (he has) ever done on the platform”.

He even popped over to Israel on what, according to him, was totally not an apology tour.

This sort of volatile behaviour is par for the course for Musk, and part of his charm, according to cheerleaders, but one wonders if Yaccarino is simply there to put a palatable spin on what, in a normal universe, would be an indefensible thing for a major corporation to say.

On the Dealbook comments, Yaccarino commented: “Today @elonmusk gave a wide ranging and candid interview at @dealbook 2023. He also offered an apology, an explanation and an explicit point of view about our position.

“X is enabling an information independence that's uncomfortable for some people. We're a platform that allows people to make their own decisions. And here’s my perspective when it comes to advertising: X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you.

"To our partners who believe in our meaningful work -- Thank You.”

Yaccarino also encouraged X staff to watch Musk’s DealBook interview in an internal memo published by Bloomberg, calling it "candid and profound".

Time will tell if advertisers take her up her welcome. Or maybe they’ll take Musk’s advice and simply go f**k themselves.

Read more on Proactive Investors AU

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X boss Yaccarino lumped with another Elon mess
 

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