NBCUniversal Advertising Powerhouse Linda Yaccarino Exits to Serve as Twitter CEO

NBCUniversal chairman of global advertising and partnerships Linda Yaccarino is exiting the media conglomerate after more than a decade.

“It has been an absolute honor to be part of Comcast NBCUniversal and lead the most incredible team,” she said in a statement. “We’ve transformed our company and the entire industry—and I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished together, and grateful to my colleagues and mentors, especially Brian Roberts, Mike Cavanagh and the entire NBCU leadership team.”

Since joining NBCU in 2011, Yaccarino’s team has generated more than $100 billion in ad sales, expanded the company’s reach globally, helped launch Peacock, and made massive investments in data and technology capabilities. During her tenure, she developed a unified tech-enabled trading system known as One Platform and led the development of the first-ever combined ad and sponsorship program for the LA 2028 Olympics.

“We are grateful for Linda Yaccarino’s leadership of NBCUniversal’s Advertising Sales business, and for the innovative team and platform she has built,” Comcast president Mike Cavanagh said. “Linda has made countless contributions to the company during her twelve year tenure, and we wish her the best.”

Yaccarino’s departure comes just days before NBCUniversal’s upfront presentation to advertisers on May 15.

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In a tweet on Friday, Elon Musk announced that Yaccarino would serve as Twitter’s official chief executive officer, focusing primarily on business operations, while the billionaire will transition to the role of executive chairman and chief technology officer, focusing on “product design and new technology.”

“Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app,” Musk added.

Yaccarino will start at the social media giant in about six weeks, Musk said.

Yaccarino is certainly no stranger to Musk. In April, she interviewed him at the Mobile Marketing Association’s Possible Event in Miami. In November, she had asked members of the advertising community who were concerned about the amount of racist content on Twitter to give the Tesla founder “a minute.”

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NBCUniversal president of advertising sales and client partnerships Mark Marshall will become interim chairman of the company’s advertising and partnerships group.

Marshall was named to president of NBCUniversal’s advertising sales and partnerships division in 2018, where he’s had strategic oversight of all advertising sales initiatives for NBC Broadcast Entertainment, NBC Sports, advanced advertising sales and client partnerships. Previously, Marshall served as executive vice president of the Entertainment Advertising Sales group, overseeing combined advertising sales for NBC Broadcast Entertainment, USA, Syfy and WWE.

Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Marshall held multiple advertising sales and sports positions at Turner Broadcasting between 1999 and 2013. His roles at Turner included senior vice president and national sales manager, Turner Sports vice president and national sales manager and Turner Sports advertising sales vice president for the West Coast region.

Marshall will report to NBCUniversal Television and Streaming chairman Mark Lazarus, who was named to the role in 2020 and is responsible for the company’s television networks, including NBC, Telemundo, USA Network, SYFY, Bravo, Oxygen True Crime, E!, Universal Kids and international networks, as well as overseeing the company’s Direct to Consumer businesses, including Peacock, NBC Sports Group, owned television stations and NBC affiliate stations.

Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Lazarus was CSE’s president of media and marketing. He also previously served as Turner Entertainment Group president from 2003 to 2008, overseeing all aspects of Turner Entertainment Networks, including advertising sales. From 1999 to 2003, he served as Turner Sports president.

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