back to article Yaccarino takes wheel at Twitter early as advertising woes become public

Twitter's new CEO Linda Yaccarino is reportedly starting work at the bird site today, weeks earlier than expected, in the wake of a wave of leadership resignations and the same day it was reported that Twitter's ad revenue is well and truly in trouble. It was believed Yaccarino would begin closer to the start of July based on …

  1. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    I'd usually suspect mass layoffs following such losses, but the Twitterati seem to be ahead of that curve with resignations.

    "You can't fire me if I quit!"

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Plus Musk already laid off (or induced to quit) 75% of employees, so even if some of that was fat its clear that at this point you'd be cutting really deep into muscle and bone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's not cutting into flesh and bone, that removing complete limbs.

        Musk's approach to Twitter reminds me of Monty Python's Dark Knight, but less funny.

        1. Derezed
          Angel

          I don't know about that...it is pretty funny.

  2. Lon24

    Is revenue the biggest problem?

    OK 59% is bad, catastrophic for any other organisation. But with the salary bill down around 75% and datacentre by 30% plus consquent slimming of other costs - the operating deficeit might be manageable if it wasn't also required to finance the debt loaded on the company. That's Elon's greatest contribution to the company balance sheet. Will the creditors stand by him?

    Fidelity's investment in X/Twitter is smallscale compared to SpaceX & Tesla. I guess they just see it as a sweetener to secure their cut of NASA's budget. As for Saudi Arabia - again small change for a grip on America's right.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Is revenue the biggest problem?

      Interest payments are almost three times Twitter V1 revenue. Firing all the staff and not paying any bills would not be sufficient to make a profit with the old business model. The obvious way forward would be to expand the user base for his real skill set.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Is revenue the biggest problem?

        Even Musk can't father enough children to supply the necessary stream of new Twitter users.

    2. Andy 73 Silver badge

      Re: Is revenue the biggest problem?

      His bold mission statement was that he would grow the platform and its revenue.

      A 59% loss in advertising suggests he has completely failed to do the former. The draconian cost cutting can only be viewed as a successful move it if doesn't have long term impact on the functioning of the company. So far various features have failed or been removed, the site suffers from reliability problems, and we've not seen any of the "rapid innovation" Musk told us he could deliver with his highly motivated teams and skilled management.

      So even the cost cutting can hardly be regarded as a success.

      What the investors think is anyone's guess. They might want to prompt an ownership change sooner, before what remaining value is further eroded.

      His current antics fighting the gender wars suggest that Musk is completely incapable of avoiding offense, and the slow decline of the rest of the platform suggest he's not the great tech leader we were promised. Given that all of the other companies he purchased came with highly skilled senior management who delivered the actual innovation, this should perhaps not come as a surprise.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Wolves at the door

        I suspect that the money people may be happier to pick the companies bones in bankruptcy then to see Musk ever turn a profit. It was about reach and control more than making money off of it.

        1. Derezed

          Re: Wolves at the door

          What meat is there? Does Twitter have an R&D department? Does it control lots of IP/Patents? Genuine question. Not sure ex ad revenue can be liquidated. Maybe it was that tat that the chief twat was flogging on ebay...ebay signs and merch and such...might be a lean corpse for the creditors to fight over.

          1. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: Wolves at the door

            Hypothetically Apple and Google could throw some money together, buy it out, and create something useful. How much? 6 billions would keep the banks happy, losing only half their money, and the rest - just bad luck.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Is revenue the biggest problem?

      Don't forget he's quit paying rent not just on HQ but seemingly across everywhere Twitter occupies so that's a "savings" too. The numbers may look decent on their financial statements but they can't keep stiffing people indefinitely. At some point the landlords will sue, and a lease is a contract so it will be open and shut for a judge to order payment with bankruptcy as the only way to avoid payment at that point.

      1. Ball boy Silver badge

        Re: Is revenue the biggest problem?

        It's a delicate balancing act: if a company is forced into bankruptcy then all the creditors line up for a cut of what remains. That, in itself, would be an expensive and time consuming process with little prospect of getting more than a few Cents in the Dollar back. For that reason it's sometimes better to aim for a settlement figure rather than go down the nuclear route.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is revenue the biggest problem?

          True, but at some point you have to cut your losses. Property owners have obligations too, and promises tend not to pay bills.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Is revenue the biggest problem?

          Eviction followed by rerenting or selling is far more attactive that chasing up outstanding loans. It's possible landlords might do a deal and sell the property to Musk but I'm not sure if the banks would agree to that.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: at some point

        That point was in the past. Litigation moves as fast as a snail but this time there is an extra fun twist. Normally the limit would be Twitter's funds and assets. In theory it is possible to pierce the corporate veil and go after the shareholders' wealth directly. In real life this never happens because the share holders with a controlling interest take care to run the company as a separate entity and not as an extension of their ego. It would take astonishing levels of incompetence and madness to create evidence strong enough to allow piercing the corporate veil...

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Is revenue the biggest problem?

      You're accounting is wrong: 75% less workforce doesn't mean 75% lower wage bill. Even though there definitely was plenty of dead wood (lots of do gooders on nice sinecures), how much you save depends very much who was fired and on what terms. Then there's the settlments (after court action). The charges alone for this will weigh on the books for a couple of years.

      So, what's really needed is a debt restructuring or write-down couple with a strategy for effective growth. Not that Musk needs the toy to make any money but he does need to get rid of the debt that he personally guarantees.

  3. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Clawing that capital back is going to require a charm offensive

    Won't happen because Musk is incapable of charm. He is however very good at being offensive.

    Good luck to any new executive that dares to tell him the truth - that the only way the advertisers are coming back is if he shuts his arrogant mouth.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Clawing that capital back is going to require a charm offensive

      that the only way the advertisers are coming back is if he shuts his arrogant mouth

      I think it is too late for that. They will never be back, the only thing shutting his mouth might do is prevent more from leaving. The only way they can get advertisers back is if Musk is gone. Not gone as CEO but gone from any ownership stake and the algorithm fixed so everyone isn't forced to see all his tweets.

  4. abend0c4

    Linda Yaccarino is reportedly starting work at the bird site today

    Interesting change of direction for someone with a former career.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Linda Yaccarino is reportedly starting work at the bird site today

      As I wrote when her appointment was first announced, I think it makes sense for someone who's interested in building their own reputation and doesn't really care about anything beyond that. She's being "gutsy" by taking on a company that everyone knows is in dire straits, under the leadership of someone who's clearly difficult to work with. Because Twitter is widely seen as doomed, either she succeeds against great odds and is brilliant, or she fails but it's not her fault – and along the way she gets to show off making "tough choices" (tough for other people, that is).

      Executives who leave failing companies rarely seem to be held accountable for those failures. Indeed, high-profile failures appear to help their careers. It's good work if you can get it.

  5. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

    Welcome to the glass cliff Yaccarino

    Ladies and gents and all those inbetween.... the scapegoat has entered the building.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suspect the only thing that could save Twitter is to "fire" Elon Musk.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      I suspect the only thing that could save Twitter is to "fire" Elon Musk.

      Banning him from Twitter would be a good start.

  7. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    It's the...

    Benny Hill[Elon Musk] Show

    Cue closing credits

    to the sound of Yakety[Yaccarty] Sax

    Musk and Yaccarino chasing advertisers

  8. nautica Silver badge
    Holmes

    Absolutely nothing new under the sun...

    ..."Clawing that capital back is going to require a charm offensive Twitter's leadership (prior to today) seemed incapable of."

    Really? Whatever happened to Melon Mush's very loud and very bravado-laced threat when Microsoft dropped its advertising with the TwitHead--"LAWSUIT TIME!!"

    Seemed awfully charming at the time; almost meek and mild from someone with Mush's reputation as the consummate show-boater and grand-stander. He's trying for "consummate intimidate-er".

    Regarding the title--I can't count how many times I've seen, over the years, an unsuspecting schmuck beeing conned into taking a high-powered, high-sounding job strictly for the purpose of being blamed for the ineptitude of the previous shithead. And the ineptitude of the shithead, in this case, is so monumental, Yaccarino's reasons for being (eventually) fired should include "stupidity". No, make that "idiocy".

    But, there's no explaining "Look at ME! I get to work for MELON MUSH!!!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Absolutely nothing new under the sun...

      Maybe she has a contract where salary is paid monthly in advance. That would make it a bit less conned.

      1. keithpeter Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Absolutely nothing new under the sun...

        I was thinking that plus a substantial golden hello, paid into the bank, and non-returnable with appropriate contracts all signed and deposited with solicitors.

  9. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

    See also:

    "glass cliff"

    (I confess, I didn't even know that was a thing until a couple months ago)

  10. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff
    Trollface

    I expect the landlords to continue to be stiffed on rent.

    Seriously, just padlock the doors, with Musk inside.

    And there will be much rejoicing.

    1. Derezed

      Re: I expect the landlords to continue to be stiffed on rent.

      Only if the interweb link is disconnected...and maybe the air supply.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long will she last as the latest mugwump on Space Karen's Bird Site

    1. abend0c4

      I suspect, to avoid confusion, she'll be known as Myspace Karen.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alert

    Make sure you get paid

    In cash.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Make sure you get paid

      And in advance.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Make sure you get paid

      In advance.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Make sure you get paid

      Nah. At this level, the salary generally isn't important.

      What you get, mostly, is connections. Sure, there are the benefits, and there are the stock options (though in Twitter's case those will probably soon be worthless except to collectors of ephemera). What you want are the lucrative, minimal-effort speaking honoraria and short-term consultation gigs and maybe the management-book deal (those things get pumped out by the zillions), and most of all the board appointments. Getting five or six figures for four meetings a year is a pretty good deal, and once you make those connections you can be appointed to half a dozen of the things.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like