Linda Yaccarino officially became Twitter’s new CEO on Monday following Elon Musk’s tumultuous, seven-month tenure in the role. Musk has previously said he will continue to oversee Twitter’s product and engineering teams. Yaccarino was announced as new CEO in May, and is taking on the role several weeks before Musk originally stated.
Yaccarino, a career advertising executive who most recently oversaw NBCUniversal’s global ad sales, faces a chaotic company landscape worth less than half of its valuation prior to Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform in October 2022. In her first company-wide email to Twitter’s (remaining) employees obtained by The Verge, Yaccarino struck an upbeat—if vague—tone about the platform’s future direction, ethos, and strategies, and its ex-CEO. The message’s broad strokes were also included in a public thread tweeted by Yaccarino on Monday afternoon.
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After offering a flattering assessment of Musk’s work within the private space travel and electric vehicle industries, Yaccarino parroted Musk’s previously statement that Twitter can and should operate as a “global town square,” one the new CEO believes should “drive civilization forward through the unfiltered exchange of information and open dialogue about the things that matter most to us.” In pursuing this strategy, Yaccarino stated she believes Twitter can become “the world’s most accurate real-time information source.”
Similar hands-off approach previously allowed for issues such as spam accounts flooding Chinese users’ timelines with NSFW content in an attempt to suppress information of protests against the state government. Following continued attempts to transfer content moderation responsibilities onto Twitter’s users, the social media platform has also seen “unprecedented” spikes in hate speech and misinformation.
According to Yaccarino, Twitter can accomplish its lofty ambitions by “questioning our assumptions and building something new from the ground up,” although she gave no indication what this “new” arena might entail. Whatever does happen, however, would only be accomplished by employees that “genuinely believe—and work hard for that belief,” a sentiment echoing Musk’s previous demand for an “extremely hardcore” work environment.
“When you start by wrapping your arms around this powerful vision, literally everything is possible,” vowed Yaccarino.
You can read the new Twitter CEO’s full email to employees via The Verge.