Elon Musk, Linda Yaccarino, Twitter CEO ‘glass cliff’

And that’s how Elon Musk sits Twitter The CEO has ended and a highly qualified female executive is coming to replace him. But then you become one there’s a glitch and alt-right-friendly platform, the reins of Twitter may be more of a White Elephant situation than a generous gift to Linda Yaccarino, the ad chief who joined from NBCUniversal. However, this isn’t the first brush for a female executive with the dreaded “glass cliff.”

The event of the glass cliff” is where a woman or a person from a marginalized group inherits a position of power during a crisis or period of decline. While this is a promotion in theory, the odds are already stacked against them and they are unlikely to thrive in said difficult situation.

“Women are more likely to be given leadership opportunities when the situation is risky and risky than when the situation is stable,” said Jo-Ellen Pozner, assistant professor of management at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. luck. “It’s a classic glass cliff situation, where a failing company hires a woman to clean up the messes made by arrogant men,” Tweet influential digital media advisor Heidi N. Moore. “Then he became a scapegoat because it was impossible to clean up,” he said.

What a year it was

After almost a year of making headlines on Twitter, Musk rejoiced: carrying a sink to the headquarters in San Francisco, without confirming Twitter celebs and news platforms (usually before verify them again), and sack stages of employees-more than half of Twitter’s former headcount. But since Musk bid $54.20 per share for Twitter more than a year ago, it became clear why he needed a new CEO.

Artificial intelligence has taken the world by storm, especially OpenAI (which Musk co-founded) and its ChatGPT product, as Twitter has dropped so much that Musk admits he overpaid for it. more than $20 billion. In addition, the Tesla and SpaceX The CEO has immutable shareholders, along with the market wiping out $13 billion from his fortune a few weeks ago, the day after disappointing earnings from the carmaker and a literal explosion from the rocketmaker.

Tweeting that he will continue to focus on “product design and new technology,” Musk admitted that Yaccarino’s job will focus largely on business operations. Noting how Musk maintains himself in a digital capacity, Moore predicts a Looney Tunes type of scenario where the two chase each other around. Pozner said he thinks there is little any executive can do to reassure advertisers that Twitter is a safe space for their brands today. “I just don’t see how his continued involvement in the organization in any meaningful way on a day-to-day basis would allow any new CEO to thrive,” he said. Media analyst Brian Wieser was more cutting, telling the FT that Yaccarino is in “very high beta status.”

A long way down

A play on the infamous “glass ceiling” that limits women’s advancement in the workplace, the glass cliff represents a door of opportunity left open, but with a rope beyond it. and a high potential to fall. Before Bed Bath & Beyond closed, Sue Gove appointed to lead the struggling companyand in 2019, Heyward Donigan was the head of Rite Aid in a year when he lost half of his market cap. It’s fortune L’Oreal Thompson Payton describes a treacherous cliff for Black women who are often offered non-sustainable leadership rolesfrom Refinery29 to Simon & Schuster.

In politics, women are more likely to be put forward as candidates in “very dangerous, close races,” while men often run for safe seats, Pozner said. Or think long term Google executive Marissa Mayer who took over Yahoo when it faced a steep hill climb. Mayer lasted on the job for about five years until a $4.8 billion merger was effected Verizon (in a fraction of its former value), and recently admitted that he is should have acquired Netflix for $4 billion instead of Tumblr for $1.1 billion. “It’s easy to blame women when things go wrong and make gender-based identifications,” says Pozner, “even if the position women are in is more dangerous, independent of them, or whatever. they did. or say.”

Pozner agrees that Twitter is like a mirror cliff situation. “Musk has kind of created a very busy, chaotic situation at Twitter,” Pozner said, adding that he placed the blame on Twitter for the failures of advertisers to drop out rather than -identify how his actions (eg, gutting content moderationHIS questionable retweets) created this situation of uncertainty.

Of course, not every woman who climbs to the top has to trade power for a glass cliff situation. For example, Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser reached power with little effort to change his hands, but he still is at one of the most powerful banks on Wall Street. And to be fair, it’s not a given that Yaccarino is doomed. But the fact that she had to play pick-up in the first place shows how many women leaders have little room for error.

There’s little research explaining why executives turn to more women to get through slow periods of crisis, but Pozner hypothesizes that it’s partly because mentoring a woman is good. to be seen by external stakeholders, and there is also an idea that women are seen as “more sensitive. , more helpful.”

But of course there’s a darker side to it: “The feeling that when things go wrong, ‘Well, the woman or the underrepresented minority is to blame. And so the rest of us are safe.’ It will not damage the whole group, or it will not damage the group that is already in power if someone goes south.” It is also easier to scapegoat someone who is new and not part of the social network, he added. Women can still take the job, because it is the only opportunity for a leadership role to come. on their way. After all, the development at the top level still continues at an ant’s pace, like this year female CEOs run at 10% of Fortune 500 companies—and that’s a historic first, from years when women leaders were stuck at 8%.

“In the end, it doesn’t matter that it’s a woman, no one can do this job,” said Pozner, “It’s easy ​​​​for the patriarchy that it’s a woman. But it doesn’t fail to work because she a woman, it fails to work and she is a woman.

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