Linda Yaccarino Tries to Justify Twitter’s ‘X’ Rebranding

Elon Musk standing with his arm resting next to Linda Yaccarino sitting down.

Linda Yaccarino, right, said Elon Musk, left, and her half clearly established rolls at the company.
Photo: Mark Thompson / D Dipasupil (Getty Images)

Twitter—the site that owner Elon Musk has desperately tried to convince users is now “X”—has a CEO, but based merely off public pronouncements, you’d still think the billionaire tech mogul is still its head. CEO Linda Yaccarino stepped up to the plate to take over Twitter’s mess back in June, but since then we’ve heard little from the person in charge of the app formerly known by its blue and white bird logo.

In a Thursday interview with CNBC, X-Corp CEO Yaccarino finally had her time to shine, and she used her 15 seconds of fame to stump for Musk’s brand of the soon-to-be “everything app.” With expert grace, she pivoted away from overt questions about the company’s rebrand to share more of Musk’s vision for the future rather than the mess of the present.

Yaccarino was able to use her time on mic with Squawk on the Street’s Sara Eisen to extol the magic of people being paid for posting on Twitter along with potential plans to let users send money between each other. All in all, she called the emotional and physical demolition of the bird app branding a “liberation from Twitter” as now the company can move past the “legacy mindset” of the previous micro-blogging app.

Her on-brand speech shouldn’t be too surprising, considering her support Twitter as the world’s “town square” talking point. Musk rarely gives sit down interviews and has a hate-hate relationship with most of the world’s media and press, but Yaccarino previously held a position as an executive at NBCUniversal where she grew the company’s ad revenue.

Her goal at Twitter doesn’t so much seem to be a thought leader but to be the steering hand for Musk’s vision. She instead sees her role as the day-to-day operator and the person in charge of keeping wary advertisers happy. That being said, Musk has made Yaccarino his chief juggler and thrown her a lot of objects to keep up in the air. She has to deal with a platform that has skewed to the right thanks to her new boss. She has to pretend the proliferating hate speech on the platform isn’t out of control.

Compared to Musk’s off-the-cuff, say-what-I-want demeanor, Yaccarino is the stiff suit. It’s what the press has come to expect from leading execs, but there are very few people in the world who can navigate Musk’s demands and keep the gravy train rolling. We put together a list of some of the ridiculous moments from the interview to understand just how deep the new CEO has to sink to justify the “X” rebrand.

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