Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter and CEO of Tesla, has revealed that Linda Yaccarino, former advertising chief at NBCUniversal, will be the new CEO of the social media platform. Yaccarino is set to begin her new role in approximately six weeks, following her departure from NBCUniversal “effective immediately” after 12 years of service. Musk had announced on Thursday that he had found a new CEO for Twitter but did not disclose the identity of the appointee.
Since Musk’s acquisition of Twitter last year for $44bn, he has been under pressure to appoint a new CEO and focus on his other businesses, such as electric carmaker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX. Musk will continue to be involved at Twitter as executive chairman and chief technology officer.
Yaccarino has a rich background in advertising, having overseen roughly 2,000 people at NBCUniversal, and was instrumental in launching the company’s streaming service. She has been credited with bringing the network’s advertising sales operation into the digital future. At Twitter, Yaccarino’s experience in advertising will be vital to the social media company, which relies on advertising to make money and has experienced a sharp decline in ad revenue since Musk’s takeover.
According to Claire Atkinson, chief media correspondent at Business Insider, who has followed Yaccarino’s career for two decades, “If Twitter are looking to monetize better than they have been, then that would be the place to start and Linda would be the ideal person to make that happen… She won’t be rolled over.”
Musk has made several changes at Twitter, including firing thousands of staff, including those tasked with dealing with abusive posts. He has also revamped the way the service authenticates accounts, charging for blue ticks in a move that critics said would facilitate the spread of misinformation. The changes caused many big companies to halt their spending on Twitter, concerned about how their brands might be affected.
At an advertising conference last month, where Yaccarino interviewed Musk, she reminded him of the challenges he faced winning the industry’s trust. “The people in this room are your accelerated path to profitability,” she said. “But there’s a decent bit of skeptics in the room. There’s people who cannot separate, they’re challenged by separating, the man, his opinions, and the microphone he now owns.”
Yaccarino’s departure appeared to take NBCUniversal by surprise, as the firm had informed news outlets that she was busy preparing for an upcoming conference. With her wealth of experience in advertising, her appointment as Twitter’s new CEO is expected to have a significant impact on the company’s revenue generation, particularly through ad sales