Elon Musk Confirms Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s New CEO, Focused on Business Operations
Elon Musk officially announced Linda Yaccarino, formerly NBCUniversal’s top advertising sales exec, will take the helm as Twitter’s new CEO.
“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” Musk tweeted Friday. “@LindaYacc will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology. Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app.”
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Yaccarino is expected to join Twitter by the end of June. Musk has said he’s going to assume the role of executive chair and CTO at Twitter, which he acquired last fall after a contentious several months of back-and-forth with Twitter’s board.
Yaccarino, who had worked at NBCU since 2011, will be tasked with rebuilding Twitter’s advertising business — which Musk claimed had cratered by as much as 50% after he closed the takeover in October 2022. Advertisers have been wary about Musk’s mercurial decisions in running Twitter, as well as his reinstatement of thousands of formerly banned Twitter accounts.
RELATED: When Elon Met Linda: NBCU’s Yaccarino Pressed Musk About Twitter’s Advertising and Hate-Speech Policies a Month Before He Hired Her as Twitter CEO
Yaccarino is known to hold conservative political views, and during Donald Trump’s presidential term she served on his council on sports and nutrition. At the same time, her imminent appointment as Twitter CEO was causing “conspiracy Twitter” to have a “meltdown” after right-wing users became aware of Yaccarino’s affiliation with the World Economic Forum, an organization “they view as one of the roots of all evil in the world,” BBC correspondent Shayan Sardarizadeh tweeted earlier Friday. Yaccarino has chaired the WEF’s Taskforce on Future of Work.
Musk, after announcing Yaccarino’s hire, commented, “I think people from both sides of the political spectrum will find Linda to be smart, fair and reasonable.”
The announcement came a day after Musk announced he’d hired a new CEO, but didn’t name her. Reports soon surfaced that Yaccarino, NBCU’s chairman of global advertising and partnerships, was in talks to become Twitter’s CEO. On Friday, ahead of Musk’s confirmation, Yaccarino resigned from NBCU.
Musk in December said he would step aside as Twitter’s chief executive once he found “someone foolish enough” to take over the role. Even then, however, Musk will retain total control of the social network and remain closely involved in running it.
Musk’s deal for Twitter was valued at $44 billion but the tech billionaire, who also heads Tesla and SpaceX, has said he now values the company at $20 billion. He recently officially renamed the company “X Corp.” as the parent of Twitter.
Yaccarino “has a unique interest in Twitter,” Lou Paskalis, a former senior marketing executive at Bank of America who now runs the consulting firm AJL Advisory, told Variety prior to her official appointment. “She sees opportunity there. Twitter is probably selling advertising at significant discounts in exchange for volume commitments.”
Before joining NBCU, Yaccarino spent 20 years in ad sales and marketing roles at Turner, most recently as EVP/COO of advertising sales, marketing and acquisitions.
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