Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, is set to meet with seven banks that provided financing for Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform. Scheduled for October 5, the meeting is being closely watched by industry insiders who remain skeptical about X’s prospects for revival.
It will undoubtedly put the spotlight on Yaccarino’s strategy to breathe new life into X. However, it’s unclear how Yaccarino intends to win back advertisers, particularly given owner Elon Musk’s penchant for stirring up controversy on the platform.
As one banker from the lenders remarked, “She has to get him out,” highlighting the challenge of attracting ad dollars in such a volatile environment.
X’s lenders have been saddled with approximately $13 billion of debt linked to Musk’s acquisition for nearly a year, resulting in substantial paper losses.
A tense Yaccarino claimed in an interview at the Code Conference on Wednesday evening that the company’s finances are improving.
“From an operating cash flow perspective, we are just about break-even . . . It looks like in early 2024 we will be turning a profit,” she said.
While she seemed confident in her answers, speaking carefully and taking her time, she flubbed questions on the platform’s metrics and was unsure about the figures for the daily active users (which she later clarified was 245 million).
She was also visibly uncomfortable as she tried to dodge the topic of the platform’s safety and moderation, especially since Yoel Roth, the platform’s former head of trust and safety, also appeared as a surprise guest at the conference just an hour before.
She also dismissed questions about the plans for the platform’s business model, particularly about moving into an entirely subscription-based model, as well as the topic of Musk’s leadership and her relationship with him.
US revenues are reported to have plummeted by 60% since Musk took the helm, but one source familiar with the matter said in a Financial Times report that the platform is still able to cover its interest cost of $1.5 billion per year.
Yaccarino remains optimistic. She also recently told the Financial Times that 90% of 2022’s top global spenders had returned, except she did not share crucial details about advertiser spending.
The FT shared that SensorTower data suggests that post-acquisition spending by advertisers may be significantly lower than before.
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