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X CEO Linda Yaccarino Responds to Musk’s Remark to Advertising

X CEO Linda Yaccarino addressed Elon Musk’s explicit comments about advertisers during an interview at the 2023 DealBook Summit. Musk’s remarks, including telling potential blackmailers to “Go. F—. Yourself,” were in response to advertisers pulling out from X after Musk agreed with a social media post accused of promoting anti-Semitic and racist hate. Yaccarino described Musk’s comments as an “explicit point of view about our position” and emphasized X’s role as a platform allowing free speech. Despite losing advertisers like Disney, Apple, and IBM, Yaccarino expressed gratitude to partners supporting X’s work.

In November, several major companies withdrew their ads from X after Musk’s controversial remarks. The White House condemned Musk for promoting hate, adding to the scrutiny. During the interview, Musk explicitly called out Disney CEO Bob Iger, who was also present at DealBook.

Yaccarino, appointed as X’s CEO in May, has been tasked with rebuilding advertiser confidence after Musk’s takeover in 2022. In August, she indicated brands were returning to the platform and should feel comfortable placing ads. Musk, in his apology during the interview, acknowledged the gravity of his actions, stating that his agreement with an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory was “one of the most foolish if not the most foolish thing I’ve ever done on the platform.”

X’s response to the situation reflects its commitment to free speech while acknowledging challenges in managing content and advertiser relations. As the platform navigates controversies, Yaccarino’s leadership aims to strike a balance between maintaining a powerful and welcoming community on X and addressing concerns from advertisers and the public.

Disney, Apple, and IBM have not provided immediate responses to the recent developments. Musk’s explicit language and subsequent apology underscore the complex dynamics of content moderation and advertiser relationships in the evolving landscape of social media platforms.

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