Name of the Purported New Twitter CEO Drops, Raises a Lot of Concerns

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(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

As we reported on Thursday, Twitter owner Elon Musk announced that he had picked a successor to take over as CEO of Twitter.

While he didn’t name who that person was, he said that “she” would be taking over in about six weeks. He said that he would continue as executive chair and chief technology officer, “overseeing product, software & sysops.”

Since he didn’t name the person immediately, that opened up the floor for a lot of speculation and fun guesses. My colleague Bob Hoge noted that one funny “guess” was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who is not a fan of Elon Musk. Musk has so far greatly streamlined the company, getting rid of a lot of the employees to keep the operation solvent. He’s also brought things like the Twitter Files which exposed a lot of the government/social media effort to control the narrative and Community Notes, which is helping to call out politicians and media on their lies.

We saw an example of how well that works with the Community Notes fact-checking White House reporter April Ryan into next week on her despicable Border Patrol lie. So far, Musk has done a lot of things to help make the platform better and has said he wants to have free speech on the platform. Tucker Carlson had even indicated that he was going to bring his show back in some form on Twitter, which is an indication of how much the platform from being the bastion of the liberal narrative that it once was.

Now there’s a name being thrown out there as the choice. According to reports, Linda Yaccarino has been in talks with Musk to take over. Neither Musk nor Yaccarino has yet confirmed that she’s the choice.

The possibility of Yaccarino was immediately raising concerns from folks concerned about free speech. Yaccarino has worked for NBC Universal for more than ten years. She has been their chairman of global advertising and partnerships and has played a big role in the launch of NBCU’s ad-supported Peacock streaming service. Musk would be looking to her to help the advertising on Twitter, among other things. But if she’s worked so closely with liberal legacy media for so long, is she the right person to pick for this role if you truly care about free speech?

There was also another problem that Luke Rudkowski of Timcast and We Are Change brought up: her World Economic Forum connections.

She reportedly chairs the organization’s task force on the Future of Work and sits on the media, entertainment, and culture industry governors’ steering committee.

Yaccarino was also a member of the President’s Council on Sports Fitness and Nutrition, appointed by former President Donald Trump. But she was also involved with working with government agencies, the White House, and Pope Francis to produce a Covid-19 vaccination campaign in her role as chair of the nonprofit advertising group the Ad Council. That’s not making the folks concerned about the former suppression around COVID topics happy.

While Musk has not confirmed that she is the choice, he did respond to Rudkowski and say that shadow bans would not be coming back.

The bottom line — if he continues to have purview over any CEO, she could still be booted. But what’s the great benefit of this person, besides her ad talent — where is the evidence of her commitment to free speech? There’s a legit concern here if she’s as committed as he says he is. The connections and her past raise big questions.

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