By Jack Phillips
Twitter and Tesla owner Elon Musk on Friday named NBCUniversal advertising chief Linda Yaccarino as the CEO of Twitter, coming just hours after she announced she would be leaving the corporate media outlet.
“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” Musk wrote in a post on Friday. The billionaire said she “will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.”
Earlier on Friday, Yaccarino confirmed she is departing the Comcast-owned network in a statement.
“It has been an absolute honor to be part of Comcast NBCUniversal and lead the most incredible team,” she said in the statement Friday, without saying she was joining Twitter. “We’ve transformed our company and the entire industry.”
A day before, Musk wrote that he had hired a new CEO but provided no details. “She will be starting in ~6 weeks!” Musk wrote in a Twitter post, adding that he will “transition to being” the executive chair and chief technology officer of Twitter.
After Musk took over Twitter late last year, a number of corporate advertisers paused spending out of concern that content moderation policies under Twitter’s previous management would be weakened, although a number of companies have resumed spending on Twitter, according to the Wall Street Journal. Musk also reportedly fired thousands of Twitter employees since he took over and said it was needed amid cost-cutting efforts and broader macroeconomic trends.
Questions About ‘Woke’ Agenda
But ahead of her hiring, some prominent Twitter users expressed concerns that Yaccarino would pursue a “woke” agenda at Twitter, while some popular accounts expressed worry that the company would again start handing down suspensions over content that violates the company’s terms and services.
Some pointed to a 2020 article that she wrote for the World Economic Forum, the controversial Klaus Schwab-led international non-governmental organization that has been accused of pushing large corporations and governments worldwide into embracing left-wing policy agendas.
And some noted that Yaccarnino is also the chair of the WEF’s “taskforce on future of work,” and according to NBC’s website, “every CEO and executive needs to look inward, and build workplaces that ensure our employees, current and future, can always succeed amid rapid transformation.” She also stated via NBCUniversial’s website that there should be “long-term benefits for the unemployed, women, and communities of color” that some users flagged.
Yaccarino’s Twitter account follows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who has been critical of the “woke” left-wing creep into everyday life, as well a large number of prominent right-leaning accounts such as Libs of TikTok, the Babylon Bee, GOP candidate, Vivek Ramaswamy, Fox News’ Jesse Watters, conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, New York Post editor Miranda Devine, former Trump intelligence official Richard Grenell, attorney Lin Wood, Sidney Powell, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), host Russell Brand, Zerohedge, and more.
Her account also follows a few left-leaning accounts, including those belonging to Democratic officials.
During a recent industry event with Musk last month, Yaccarino told media outlets that “if freedom of speech, as he says, is the bedrock of this country, I’m not sure there’s anyone in this room who could disagree with that.” And she also said, “Elon has committed to being accessible to everyone for continual feedback.”
Musk has not publicly commented on Yaccarino’s WEF membership or public comments that appear to support controversial diversity, equity, and inclusion—or DEI—training programs that some critics say is tantamount to left-wing brainwashing.
‘Commitment … Unchanged’
“The commitment to open source transparency and accepting a wide range of viewpoints remains unchanged,” Musk wrote Thursday in addressing concerns about Yaccarino’s potential influence.
A company profile at NBCUniversal shows that she oversees a 2,000-member team, which is likely more people than who work at Twitter. Musk told a BBC reporter that the company is down to 1,500 people after several layoffs under his watch.
NBCUniversal’s ad sales team netted more than $100 billion in sales since she joined the company in 2011, according to her website profile. She also made partnerships with tech companies like Apple News, Snapchat, YouTube, and more.
Her exit from NBCUniversal comes just weeks after former CEO Jeff Shell was ousted after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with an employee. Earlier this week, NBC confirmed that CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble would be departing the company amid complaints she lodged about Shell.
In the meantime, some Tesla investors have expressed worry about Musk’s involvement with Twitter. Analysts have been worried that Musk’s focus on Twitter was distracting him from the challenges facing the electric car company, which has seen its stock slide significantly over the past 12 months.
The Epoch Times contacted Twitter for comment. The company sent an automated response featuring a smiling poop emoji.