AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
- Elon Musk announced the hire of Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter Friday.
- Some conservatives are upset over her ties to the World Economic Forum, where she chairs a committee.
- Liberal Twitter users have pointed out that she follows and likes tweets from prominent conservatives.
After Elon Musk officially announced the appointment of Linda Yaccarino as Twitter CEO on Friday, users across the political spectrum quickly took to the platform to voice perceived flaws in the exec’s former work and online behavior.
Responses to Musk’s tweet announcing the hire included skepticism from conservative users taking issue with Yaccarino’s involvement in the World Economic Forum, as well as her work as advertising chief at NBCUniversal, from which she resigned on Friday. Some spoke out about her previous comments praising NBC’s efforts on diversity and social justice, and her stances in favor of masks and vaccines during the pandemic.
—hannah gais (@hannahgais) May 12, 2023
The WEF meets every year in Davos, Switzerland, where some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people meet and discuss topics like climate change and the global economy. According to Yaccarino’s LinkedIn profile, she has been involved with the WEF since 2019, and serves as the “Chairman of the WEF’s Taskforce on Future of Work” as well as on a committee regarding media, entertainment and culture.
Musk has previously been critical of the meeting, and claimed he has skipped it on multiple occasions, though event organizers have said he hasn’t been invited in years.
“How is WEF/Davos even a thing?” Musk wrote in a tweet after the opening speech for the 2023 event. “Are they trying to be the boss of Earth!?” he continued.
Conspiracy theorists from groups like QAnon have also taken aim at the WEF in recent years, claiming that the people involved want to transform the world through a “great reset.” Conservative commentators like Tucker Carlson and Glenn Beck have been accused of giving such theories a larger platform, according to CNN.
Some high-profile Twitter conservatives like “Catturd” also chimed in on Friday, taking issue with Yaccarino and claiming she is “deeply infected with the woke mind virus.”
Others noted that Yaccarino interviewed Musk at an advertising event last month, and questioned Musk on his policies of free speech while still having content moderation policies to appeal to advertisers. Some users saw Yaccarino’s emphasis on advertising as a signal that she may look to increase content moderation in her new role.
Conservatives weren’t the only ones taking issue with Yaccarino’s appointment. Left-leaning Twitter users pointed out a list of conservative accounts Yaccarino follows and likes tweets, from including Catturd, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and right-wing commentator Jesse Watters, among others.
Some liberal users also took issue that she was appointed to a presidential council on sports, fitness, and nutrition along with conservatives like Herschel Walker and Dr. Oz during the administration of former president Donald Trump.
Musk himself weighed in on some of the critical response, and said he believes both sides of the political aisle will eventually find Yaccarino to be a smart and fair CEO.
Others like Bloomtech CEO Austen Allred chimed in with agreement, and said anger among both liberals and conservatives is likely a positive sign for Musk’s stated “centrist” beliefs.
Some in the advertising world told Insider that Musk’s decision to hire Yaccarino may be his best move yet since taking over Twitter, largely because of how respected she is in the advertising industry and her potential to raise revenue.
Twitter did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.