Musk's Move to Hire a Twitter CEO May Return Him to Tesla's Driver's Seat

Automaker on Friday raised prices and recalled 1.1 million EVs in China

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV

Justin Sullivan / Staff / Getty Images

Twitter CEO Elon Musk picked a new leader for the social media company, potentially allowing him to focus more on Tesla (TSLA), which on Friday was forced to recall more than 1.1 million vehicles in China, among its largest markets.

X Corp.'s New CEO

Linda Yaccarino, former NBCUniversal Head of Advertising, will take over as Twitter's new CEO, Musk said Friday in a tweet.

Yaccarino "will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology. Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app," Musk tweeted.

“She will be starting in ~6 weeks," Musk, who bought Twitter, now X Corp., in April 2022, had tweeted yesterday.

Yaccarino helped launch NBCU's Peacock streaming service and became an advocate for revolutionizing the advertising industry. That experience could come in handy as Musk pushes to improve monetization at Twitter, something the social media platform has historically struggled to achieve.

"This would be a homerun hire for Twitter and fit in very well to the overall Twitter strategy and monetization looking ahead," Wedbush Securities analysts wrote in a report Friday.

A Twitter CEO could let Musk focus on his other companies—Tesla and SpaceX. Wedbush analysts rated the move as a positive for Tesla stock because it sheds a "lingering albatross."

Does Tesla Need Musk?

Tesla may need the attention. Chinese regulators ordered Tesla to recall some 1.1 million EVs—almost all of the automaker’s EVs in the Chinese market—after discovering a defect in the vehicles’ acceleration and braking systems. Starting May 29, some imported Model S, Model X, Model 3, and domestically produced Model 3 and Model Y vehicles with a production date between January 12, 2019 and April 24, 2023 will be recalled. Tesla said it would fix the issue with an over-the-air software update sent wirelessly to each vehicle.

It comes two months after the company recalled almost 2,650 vehicles in China due to a hood malfunction. Tesla's China revenue rose to $18.2 billion last year from $13.8 billion in 2021.

In the U.S., regulators ordered Tesla in February to recall more than 360,000 vehicles, or about 90% of Tesla vehicles using the software for city streets, because of faulty Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta software.

Tesla's pricing strategy is also in disarray. After a series of price cuts, on Friday the company raised prices of its Model S, X, and Y electric vehicles in the U.S., with Models S and X selling for $1,000 more, while those for Model Y increased by $250. It’s a low single-digit percentage increase, with the new prices still considerably lower than at the beginning of the year.

Tesla shares were little changed as of 10:45 a.m. New York time after rising as much as 3% at the start of trading. They've risen 40% year-to-date, far outperforming the broader S&P 500 consumer discretionary sector, which is up 15% over the same period.

Tesla (TSLA) YTD Return


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  1. Twitter. "@elonmusk, 11:49 AM, May 12, 2023."

  2. Twitter. "@elonmusk, 3:48 PM, May 11, 2023."

  3. The Wall Street Journal. "NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino Is in Talks to Become Twitter CEO."

  4. Insider Intelligence. "Twitter enters the ad revenue-sharing race—sort of."

  5. State Administration of Market Regulation. "Tesla Motors (Beijing) Co., Ltd. Expands Recall of Some Imported Model S Electric Vehicles."

  6. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Tesla Inc. — Form 10-Q."

  7. Reuters. "Tesla raises US prices for all its vehicles except Model 3."

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