Elon Musk Hires New CEO for Twitter: Linda Yaccarino

Elon Musk has announced that he has found a new CEO for Twitter, although he has not yet revealed who the person is. The billionaire entrepreneur became Twitter CEO, or “Chief Twit,” last year after he bought the company and fired its former CEO, Parag Agrawal, within hours of taking the social media company private. Musk tweeted on Thursday that he had “hired a new CEO for X/Twitter” and that “she will be starting in ~6 weeks.” Musk will take on the role of executive chair and chief technology officer, overseeing product, software, and sysops of Twitter. The announcement comes after Musk ran a Twitter poll in December asking users whether he should step back as Twitter’s CEO, which ended with the majority of users voting in the affirmative.[0] Musk said he would abide by the results of the poll but later backtracked, saying he would hand over the role “as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!”[1]

Due to the documented increase in offensive language and rhetoric on Twitter, multiple advocacy groups have observed that many companies have stopped their advertising spending on the platform.[2] To compensate for the decline in ad earnings, Musk launched a novel subscription service called Twitter Blue that provides additional functionalities, including the option to craft lengthier tweets.[3] Following the acquisition, Twitter has experienced a significant decline in revenue as several advertisers express concerns regarding brand safety on the platform. Additionally, Musk’s attempts to implement a more forceful subscription strategy have yet to yield positive results.[4]

NBCUniversal’s veteran advertising sales leader, Linda Yaccarino, has been in talks to become the next chief executive of Twitter, according to a person familiar with the matter.[5] Having spent a significant portion of her professional journey at WarnerMedia’s TV operations, Yaccarino joined NBCUniversal in the past decade and now oversees the ad-sales endeavors of the Comcast-owned enterprise worldwide. She plays a crucial role in fortifying the revenue streams of Peacock and NBC among other assets.[6] Over the past few years, she has led the way in creating strategies to produce fresh revenue streams with e-commerce. Additionally, she has endeavored to transform the methodology used by the television sector to gauge viewership for advertisers, aiming to enhance the trustworthiness of the compensation Madison Avenue provides to individuals who stream their preferred shows.[6]

For quite some time, Yaccarino has been a powerful and dynamic figure in the advertising industry.[7] After spending twenty years at Turner, she became a part of NBCUniversal in 2011.[7] At first, her responsibility was limited to managing cable and digital sales. However, in just two years, she was promoted to oversee all cable and broadcast networks as part of a unified portfolio. This innovative restructuring was later adopted by most of her rivals.[7] Ever since the billionaire purchased Twitter in October, Yaccarino has been a vocal supporter of Musk’s ownership of the platform.[7] The duo appeared onstage together in April during the inaugural Possible marketing event in Miami for a keynote around “Twitter 2.0.”

Musk and Yaccarino have collaborated previously. Last month in Miami Beach, the duo came together for a discussion called “Twitter 2.0: From Conversations to Partnerships,” which was marketed as a “intimate conversation” regarding Twitter’s impact on society and its potential for advertisers. Last week, Yaccarino hinted at NBCUniversal’s recent expansion of its partnership with Twitter for the 2024 Paris Olympics in a tweet directed at Musk.[8] Details suggest that Musk and Yaccarino have been in talks about a partnership for a few weeks.[9] They both attended a conference in Napa hosted by ad giant WPP on Tuesday, where they were on stage back-to-back.[5]

In conclusion, Musk’s decision to hire a new CEO for Twitter comes after months of speculation and controversy surrounding his own tenure as CEO. Yaccarino, who has been in talks with Musk for a few weeks, is seen as a seasoned advertising executive who could help revive Twitter’s advertising revenue.[10] Her departure from NBCUniversal is effective immediately, and Mark Marshall, the current president of advertising sales and client partnerships, will become interim chairman of the company’s advertising and partnerships group.[11]

0. “Who Is Linda Yaccarino? The Ad Executive Elon Musk Has Reportedly Chosen To Succeed Him As Twitter CEO” Forbes, 12 May. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthart/2023/05/12/who-is-linda-yaccarino-the-ad-executive-elon-musk-has-reportedly-chosen-to-succeed-him-as-twitter-ceo

1. “Elon Musk says he’s found a new CEO for Twitter” CNN, 12 May. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/11/tech/elon-musk-twitter-ceo/index.html

2. “Twitter has a new mystery CEO” The Verge, 11 May. 2023, https://www.theverge.com/2023/5/11/23517090/elon-musk-twitter-ceo-replacement

3. “NBCUniversal Exec Linda Yaccarino In Talks To Become Twitter CEO – Report” Deadline, 12 May. 2023, https://deadline.com/2023/05/twitter-ceo-linda-yaccarino-talks-nbcuniversal-executive-1235364271

4. “Linda Yaccarino Exits NBCUniversal Amid Twitter Talks; Mark Lazarus Assumes Oversight of Ad Sales” Hollywood Reporter, 12 May. 2023, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/business/business-news/linda-yaccarino-exits-nbcuniversal-twitter-mark-lazarus-mark-marshall-1235486330

5. “NBCU ad chief Linda Yaccarino in talks to lead Twitter” Axios, 12 May. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/05/12/twitter-linda-yaccarino-ceo-elon-musk

6. “NBCU’s Linda Yaccarino in Talks for Twitter CEO” Variety, 11 May. 2023, https://variety.com/2023/tv/news/linda-yaccarino-twitter-ceo-nbcuniversal-1235610592

7. “NBCU’s Linda Yaccarino in Talks to Become Twitter CEO” Adweek, 12 May. 2023, https://www.adweek.com/convergent-tv/nbcu-ad-sales-chief-linda-yaccarino-in-talks-to-become-twitter-ceo/

8. “Who is Linda Yaccarino, Elon Musk’s pick for Twitter CEO?” The Washington Post, 12 May. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/05/12/new-twitter-ceo-linda-yaccarino-elon-musk/

9. “Elon Musk To Tap NBCU’s Linda Yaccarino As Twitter CEO: Reports” HuffPost, 12 May. 2023, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/elon-musk-linda-yaccarino-nbcu_n_645d93f4e4b094269bb34740

10. “Dow Jones Futures Rise Amid Divided Market Rally; Tesla Pops On Elon Musk’s Twitter News | Investor’s Business Daily” Investor’s Business Daily, 12 May. 2023, https://www.investors.com/market-trend/stock-market-today/dow-jones-futures-market-rally-weak-outside-google-tesla-pops-on-elon-musk-twitter-news/

11. “NBCUniversal ad chief Linda Yaccarino resigns as sources say she’s in talks to be Twitter CEO” CNBC, 12 May. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/05/12/nbcuniversal-ad-chief-yaccarino-resigns-as-sources-say-shes-in-talks-to-be-twitter-ceo.html