In a recent interview at the Code Conference, X CEO Linda Yaccarino appeared unaware of a plan announced by Elon Musk to charge users a small monthly fee to use the platform. When asked about the impact of this shift on X’s business and how many users might be lost, Yaccarino seemed flustered and asked for clarification on whether Musk had actually confirmed the move or was still considering it. Despite Yaccarino’s background in advertising and partnerships, it was surprising that she seemed uninformed about a major decision regarding X’s revenue generation. The interview also raised questions about Yaccarino’s role and power within the company, as well as her understanding of Musk’s plans for X.
Throughout the interview, Yaccarino avoided directly answering questions about the proposed subscription model and its implications. Her responses suggested either a lack of awareness regarding the plan or a perception that it was still in the early stages of consideration. Yaccarino failed to address the issue of combating bots and how user fees would play a role in addressing this problem. It is possible that, as a former ad executive, she may have wanted to avoid alarming X’s advertisers by hinting at potential changes to the free, ad-supported nature of the platform.
Overall, the interview highlighted a lack of alignment between Yaccarino and Musk in running X, with Yaccarino appearing overwhelmed by basic questions about X’s business and Musk’s decisions. This lack of synchronization was evident in various aspects, including Yaccarino denying the disbanding of X’s election integrity team despite Musk’s announcement on the platform. Additionally, Yaccarino’s uncertain grasp of X’s user numbers further emphasized the disconnect between the CEO and the company’s operations.