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X Corp. CEO Linda Yaccarino says she has ‘autonomy’ under Elon Musk

TechnologyX Corp. CEO Linda Yaccarino says she has 'autonomy' under Elon Musk

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Twitter CEO Elon Musk, left, speaks with Linda Yaccarino on April 18, 2023. Musk announced May 11, 2023 that he was stepping down from the role and a day later named Yaccarino as Twitter’s new CEO.

Rebecca Blackwell | AP

X Corp. CEO Linda Yaccarino told CNBC that she has “autonomy” under owner Elon Musk in an interview Thursday, adding that advertisers should be comfortable returning to the platform under her leadership

Yaccarino pointed to the Tweet announcing her hiring, where Musk underscored his continued control over product and development. Yaccarino added that her role was “everything else” involved in “running the company.”

Echoing prior comments from Musk, Yaccarino said that the company was “close” to break-even.

Coca-Cola, Visa, and other brands had returned to Twitter advertising under her leadership, Yaccarino added, as a result of her direct engagement with marketing and communications executives.

Questions swirled about Yaccarino’s autonomy under Musk, given his extensive control over the company and his other ventures, including Tesla and SpaceX. Yaccarino also emphasized Twitter’s apparent effort to improve advertiser experience, after brands fled from the platform shortly after Musk acquired it.

Brands are “protected from the risk of being next to” potentially toxic content, Yaccarino told CNBC’s Sara Eisen. The X Corp. CEO added that if content is “lawful but awful” it is difficult to remove the content from the platform, but that Twitter’s new content controls would tamp down on advertiser risk.

Yaccarino argued that X was “healthier” than it was a year-ago when it was publicly traded. “You might not agree” with all posts, Yaccarino added.

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Layoffs were a “very necessary cost discipline exercise,” the CEO added. X Corp. now has about 1,500 employees, Yaccarino told Eisen. Twitter employed around 8,000 people before Musk acquired it.

Yaccarino was relatively dismissive of the threat posed by Meta’s Threads, which has seen engagement fall off since a buzzy launch. But, she added, “you can never ever take your eye off any competition.”

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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