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Elon Musk’s Brilliant Choice For CEO Of Twitter

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There are few decisions that can compare to selecting the CEO of an organization for its most important job. Elon, known for spontaneity, made the right choice in selecting Linda Yaccarino, as chief executive. Musk, as chairman and chief technologist, will face some significant and obvious speed bumps.

Advertising Revenue and Free Speech

Yaccarino is well-versed in the needs and preferences of advertisers, as she has spent over ten year at NBCUniversal. Most recently she was chairman of global partnerships and advertising. Twitter and its company, however, are two different entities. This is not just because Musk has a hand in it.

Musk and Yaccarino must balance the conflict between advertisers’ demands and freedom of expression. During an interview on stage, Yaccarino posed the question of how advertisers will influence Twitter. Musk replied, “It’s totally cool to say that you want to have your advertising appear in certain places on Twitter and not in other places, but it is not cool to try to say what Twitter will do,” he said. “And if that means losing advertising dollars, we lose it. But freedom of speech is paramount.”

Risk-taking

Musk is a rare example of a mercurial and even reckless person. He sometimes finds himself in the sights of the SEC. Yaccarino has a much lower impulsiveness, but is not risk-averse. She encouraged others in a speech before a small audience to prepare themselves before taking risks. Recognizing that there are people who fear risk, she urges those with the same fears to go ahead. The advice she gives is not a permission to behave impulsively, but a call for courage.

It can cause frustration when leaders of senior positions have different levels of risk tolerance, even if they share a mutual respect. When a leader’s colleague has a greater tolerance for risk or takes a measured approach, it can be frustrating.

Riptides

Linda Yaccarino is a leader with a lot of experience that Musk chose. Linda Yaccarino is used to working with riptides and rough waters. She has also worked in an industry where multiple stakeholders have demanding demands and often conflicting interests. Yaccarino knows how to navigate such situations, but Musk will also be bringing in cross currents.

To complicate the picture, Musk’s dual roles as chairman and chief technology officer blur boundaries, though he isn’t known for respecting them. In such situations, close coordination helps, but Musk’s preference for speed makes it likely that he’ll act without it.

Yaccarino might be the right partner for Musk. Still, they’ll need to work out their “dance steps” if he will prioritize making this pivotal relationship work. If, as one journalist said, Musk relegates her to CEO in name only, the long-term prospects are dimmer, but it’s far too early to bet on that.

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