Friday, Elon Musk announced the new Twitter CEO’s name on Twitter.
His tweets stated that Linda Yaccarino from NBCUniversal has been chosen to succeed Musk as the CEO of the social media company. Musk described her responsibilities at Twitter, saying that she will oversee commercial operations while aiming to turn the social media site into X, the all-encompassing app. On the other hand, the millionaire will handle product design and new technology.
Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!
My role will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2023
Yaccarino, the former head of advertising at NBCUniversal, modernized the advertising sector of Comcast’s entertainment and media division. She was in the running for the position before NBC announced her resignation on Friday morning.
After the company lost over 80% of its workforce after Musk acquired Twitter in October, advertisers have abandoned the site out of concern that their ads would be displayed next to offensive content. Musk admitted earlier this year that Twitter’s ad revenue fell dramatically.
According to Lou Paskalis, a longtime ad industry executive and CEO of marketing consultant AJL Advisory, Twitter’s “trajectory will immediately take a 180-degree turn” under her direction.
Musk fired tens of thousands of workers, hurried the release of a subscription service that let fraudsters pose as well-known companies, and suspended users he didn’t agree with.
“In my opinion, Yaccarino has successfully ascended every obstacle she could at NBCU. Restoring order at Twitter is the biggest issue there is, he added.
It was impossible to contact Yaccarino for comment.
Her departure is another setback for NBCUniversal. Following an inquiry into a complaint, NBC parent firm Comcast announced last month that NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was resigning after admitting to having an inappropriate interaction with a female employee.
The NBCUniversal advertising and partnerships group’s interim chairman will be Mark Marshall, president of advertising. Marshall, who is in charge of NBC’s broadcast entertainment, sports, and advanced advertising sales, was appointed president of ad sales and partnerships in 2018.
Yaccarino’s departure occurs as NBCUniversal gears up for its annual upfront pitch to advertisers on Monday at Radio City Music Hall, which will be challenging given the timing of Yaccarino’s departure.
After spending 15 years at Turner Entertainment, Yaccarino joined NBCU in 2011. He is recognized for bringing the network’s ad sales division into the digital era.
She grabbed the stage at Radio City Music Hall last year to assure advertisers that brand messages weren’t an afterthought as broadcast television audiences switched to streaming. She claimed that from the start, NBCUniversal included advertisements in its Peacock streaming service.
According to Greg Kahn, CEO of media consultancy GK Digital Ventures, “Twitter needs credibility with the advertising community.” Linda has proven to be trustworthy, creative in bringing in new partners, and endowed with a wide network of contacts.
Musk, the CEO of electric car manufacturer Tesla, finished buying Twitter in October. In December, he declared that he would leave his position as CEO once he found “someone foolish enough to take the job.”
Without mentioning Yaccarino, Musk tweeted on Thursday that he had chosen a CEO. According to a source close to Yaccarino, Musk’s post may have sped up the process for her to join Twitter, which would be good news for Tesla shareholders.
Friday saw a 1.3 percent decline in Tesla shares as analysts noted that Musk may focus on the EV industry with a new CEO in place. Shares of Comcast changed very little.