X CEO Linda Yaccarino finds herself at the center of a storm as leading advertising executives call for her resignation in the wake of Elon Musk’s controversial endorsement of an alleged antisemitic post.
Forbes has verified that a growing number of prominent marketing leaders and brand chiefs have reached out to Yaccarino, urging her to make a strong statement against racism and antisemitism by stepping down from her role. These individuals wonder why she is risking her hard-earned reputation to defend Musk’s actions.
Before Yaccarino’s tenure at X, she held a pivotal role as the head of NBCUniversal’s advertising business for over a decade. During her time at NBCU, she earned a reputation as one of the advertising industry’s most astute leaders and cultivated a vast network of allies among brand chiefs. She took over as CEO of X in July after Musk confirmed her for the position in May.
However, her time at X does not seem to be over, as sources close to the situation, as reported by Axios, have revealed that she is currently not considering stepping down.
Calls for her to leave the social media company follow a widespread controversy that erupted when Elon Musk agreed with a video that claimed that Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.”
Critics saw Musk’s agreement as an endorsement of an explicitly antisemitic conspiracy theory. The outrage against the tech billionaire worsened when leftwing watchdog Media Matters subsequently released a report, revealing that advertisements from major companies like IBM and Amazon had appeared alongside content promoting Nazi ideologies and white nationalism on the platform.
In the wake of the report, several prominent advertisers, including Apple, Disney, and IBM, pulled their ads from X. Even the White House has condemned Musk’s statements.
Responding to the firestorm, Yaccarino took to X on Nov. 16 to address the situation directly. She stated, “X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board.”
The tweet further read, “I think that’s something we can and should all agree on. When it comes to this platform, X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world; it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop.”
X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board — I think that's something we can and should all agree on. When it comes to this platform — X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and…
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayaX) November 16, 2023
X also issued a statement disputing Media Matters’ research, claiming that it misrepresented the true user experience on the platform and accused them of attempting to undermine freedom of speech and mislead advertisers.
Elon Musk himself defended himself and his company, refuting Media Matters’ claims and vowing to take legal action against the leftwing outlet for twisting his commitment to free speech.
In a tweet on a Saturday morning, he declared, “The split second court opens on Monday, X Corp will be filing a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company.”
The split second court opens on Monday, X Corp will be filing a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company pic.twitter.com/55vl7PspaQ
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2023