Elon Musk’s potential interim CEO role at Twitter is concerning to advertisers

The news: Once Elon Musk's $44 billion bid to buy Twitter is completed, Musk will serve as the company's interim CEO, according to David Faber of CNBC—which could be a problem for advertisers.

  • Musk would take over from Parag Agrawal, who replaced Jack Dorsey last November. Agrawal joined the firm as a software developer in 2011 and rose through the ranks to become CTO in 2017.

Will it work? Having Musk as interim CEO is likely to ruffle the feathers of advertisers, who are already on edge. “I hate advertising,” Elon Musk famously tweeted in 2019.

  • The world's richest individual has been clear that fixing Twitter’s advertising model is not his priority No. 1.
  • Musk has talked about monetizing Twitter in various ways, such as charging certain businesses and governmental entities to use the service.
  • The Tesla CEO has also said he wants to loosen Twitter’s content moderation measures, which has caused many marketers to voice brand safety concerns.

The problem: More than nine out of every 10 dollars that Twitter generates come from advertising—and in the short term, Musk may need the advertising world to have a greater interest in running ads on the platform, not less enthusiasm for spending.

Why it matters: If Musk does take over as interim CEO, advertisers will almost certainly be more concerned about the changes to come, not less.