(CBrief) – Elon Musk’s controversial choice to head up Twitter has issued her first statement since being named to her position.
It comes as CEO Linda Yaccarino prepares to take over Musk’s duties while he shifts to executive chairman and chief technology officer.
On Friday, Musk tweeted, “I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter! @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.”
She replied: “Thank you @elonmusk ! 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!”
Yaccarino 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!”
Thank you @elonmusk!
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! https://t.co/BcvySu7K76
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) May 13, 2023
Notably, Yaccarino spent more than a decade at NBC Universal, where she focused on marketing. And Musk’s decision to hire her as the platform’s new CEO did not come without some controversy, as The Daily Wire notes:
Following her hiring, Twitter users started to uncover the connections that Yaccarino holds to entities such as the World Economic Forum, for which she chairs the Taskforce on Future of Work and sits on the Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry Governors Steering Committee. The World Economic Forum is a leading proponent of stakeholder capitalism, an approach to investing that encourages executives to consider the needs of employees, communities, and other parties in addition to shareholders, and the use of corporate power to advance political agendas.
Yaccarino also served as board chair for the Ad Council, an entity which creates public service announcements for nonprofits and governments. She partnered with the Biden administration to launch a campaign featuring Pope Francis in order to promote COVID vaccines.
Many Twitter users openly worried that Yaccarino held left-wing views and that “shadow bans” of right-leaning content creators and users would again take place, but Musk tamped that down.
“That will not be the case,” he tweeted.
Still, users also discovered an interview conducted by Yaccarino with Musk last month, during which she raised the issue of his impromptu use of the platform. Yaccarino argued that advertisers “need to feel that there is an opportunity for them to influence” the site with respect to “content moderation.”
Yaccarino and Musk disagreed, though, as she pushed him to reinstitute the “well-populated, much-loved influence council” that was in existence before he bought the platform last fall. Musk argued that he would be “worried about creating a backlash among the public” if they came to believe that “their views are being determined” by just as few elitist marketing executives.
“It’s totally cool to say that you want to have your advertising appear in certain places on Twitter and not in other places, but it is not cool to try to say what Twitter will do,” he remarked. “And if that means losing advertising dollars, we lose it, but freedom of speech is paramount.”
Musk had been “actively” looking for a CEO since late last year.
“Musk is actively looking for a new CEO of Twitter,” CNBC reporter David Faber said. “Everything I have heard, he has been actively looking, asking, trying to figure out who the candidate pool might actually be.”
At the time, Musk tweeted, “The question is not finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.”
The remarks came after he posted a poll asking users if he should step down as head of the company, with most indicating ‘yes.’