Marketing Leaders Urge X CEO Linda Yaccarino to Step Down ‘Before Her Reputation Is Damaged’

Brand chiefs and marketing leaders have reached out to the X CEO directly to urge her resignation

Linda Yaccarino at Code Conference
Linda Yaccarino at 2023 Code Conference (Credit: Getty Images for Vox Media)

X CEO Linda Yaccarino is fielding texts and direct messages from brand chiefs and marketing leaders who want her to resign from the Elon Musk-owned social media platform “before her reputation is damaged,” according to a Monday report from Axios

Lou Paskalis, founder and CEO of marketing consultancy AJL Advisory and former head of global media at Bank of America, told Axios that he messaged Yaccarino on Sunday, urging the widely respected marketing executive to leave X Corp.

 “The issue is no longer about content adjacencies or content moderation. It’s simply that the owner is not someone marketers can do business with,” Paskalis said. 

Forbes reported that the X CEO has been contacted by a growing number of leading advertising executives questioning her willingness to damage her reputation to protect Musk and the business. The executives suggested that Yaccarino make a statement about the direction of the platform by resigning from the role.

At this point, Yaccarino has given no signs that she would be considering stepping down. 

On Monday, Yaccarino reiterated her support for the social media platform posting, “What we’re doing at X matters and has everyone’s attention.”

“When you’re this consequential, there will be detractors and fabricated distractions, but we’re unwavering in our mission,” the X CEO continued.

On Sunday night, Yaccarino sent a memo to all employees with the message that the work done at the social media platform is “meaningful.” The X CEO said that “no other platform” is working as hard as X to “protect free speech,” which “naturally invites criticism from those who do not share our beliefs.”

“While some advertisers may have temporarily paused investments because of a misleading and manipulated article, the data will tell the real story,” continued Yaccarino.

Yaccarino led NBCUniversal’s advertising business for over a decade prior to joining X this year and has developed a reputation for being an impressive advertising leader with a vast network. 

Meanwhile, major advertisers on X announced the suspension of marketing on the social media platform on Friday, coming after Musk faced backlash for agreeing with a post on X that glorified a deeply rooted antisemitic conspiracy theory, calling the statement “actual truth.” 

The advertisers pausing ads on the platform included Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony, Lionsgate, Apple, and IBM. 

Later on Friday, Musk slammed the platform’s largest form of revenue saying “Many of the largest advertisers are the greatest oppressors of your right to free speech,” while hawking X’s paid service which would prevent advertisements from showing up in the user’s timeline. 

Musk additionally said that he would be launching a “thermonuclear lawsuit,” against Media Matters For America after the media watchdog released a report on Thursday that accused X of placing ads for brands next to pro-Hitler and white nationalist accounts.

Full memo below:
Our Work is Meaningful


Across every corner of this company, we’re working to create a platform for everyone. And there is no other platform that’s working as hard to protect free speech like X. Our work is critical, but it’s not always easy. What we’re doing matters, which means it naturally invites criticism from those who do not share our beliefs.

While some advertisers may have temporarily paused investments because of a misleading and manipulated article, the data will tell the real story. Because for all of us who work at X, we’ve been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination, as there’s no place for it anywhere in the world.

I want to encourage you to read and listen to all the feedback. On one side, there’s a vocal minority trying to use deceptive attacks to undermine our work. But on the other side, there are vocal supporters and courageous partners who believe in X and the meaningful work you are all doing. Hold on to that and keep pushing forward. No critic will ever deter us from our mission to protect free speech.

Let’s keep putting our values to work and lean on one another. I am extremely proud to be on the front line with you all — and I’ll see you all at the office tomorrow morning.



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