New Twitter CEO’s Biggest Goal Is to Convince ‘Erratic’ Elon Musk ‘Not to Fire Her,’ Axios Says (Video)
Axios media reporter Sara Fischer thinks the biggest challenge facing outgoing NBCUniversal advertising chief Linda Yaccarino were she to become the new CEO of Twitter under Elon Musk is dealing with the embattled owner’s “erratic” behavior.
She’ll have to “convince Elon Musk not to fire her in a few weeks,” Fischer told “CNN This Morning” on Friday.
The role of Twitter CEO would also be a challenge for Yaccarino because it will require a shift to courting smaller and mid-sized businesses rather than the big accounts on Madison Avenue.
NBCU announced early Friday that Yaccarino is leaving the company amid widespread speculation that she will take the helm at the social media platform.
Twitter owner and current CEO Musk on Thursday posted that he hired a new leader for the company he renamed X Corp. in April, referring to “her” but not announcing the woman’s name. As of early Friday, he had not responded to the rumors that Yaccarino was his pick.
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Fischer told “CNN This Morning” Friday that Yaccarino’s expertise could help right the social media platform, which has seen its valuation plunge since Musk’s October takeover as advertisers fled. In late March, reports said that Twitter ad revenue has plummeted 89% under Musk.
“Linda is considered one of the biggest industry leaders in advertising and has been for many years,” Fischer told CNN host Poppy Harlow. “She oversees a very large budget across so many different platforms, mediums and events. And so she’s definitely the person that you’re going to want to have leading your ads business.”
“The question that I have, though, is that for platforms like Twitter, where they’ve long struggled to catch up to Meta and Google, is that they don’t have a lot of small- and medium-sized business advertisers,” she continued. “They rely too heavily on the big brands.”
The challenge is that those big brands are Yaccarino’s “bread and butter, the big brands” Fischer said.
“I’m curious to see, if and when she comes in, what her plan is for some of those smaller advertisers, not just the big ones on Madison Avenue that she’s used to working with,” she said.
Harlow noted that taking over at Twitter also means dealing with the sometimes erratic and volatile Musk.
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“The thing here is, you don’t know what Elon Musk is going to do in terms of content moderation,” she observed. “Big brands want safety. They want to be on a platform where they know what’s going to come. That’s an interesting needle for her to try to thread when you’ve still got Elon Musk at the helm, right? And he could change that role at any moment.”
Fischer said that’s why Yaccarino might be the right person for the job.
“Big brands really trust Linda,” she said. “I mean, she’s considered the foremost authority on Madison Avenue for the person who they should be and want to be working with in terms of advertising.”
The greater worry may be in how Yaccarino and Musk work together, she said.
“I actually think the bigger risk is whether or not Linda can convince Elon not to be erratic enough to just fire her and a few weeks,” Fischer said. “That’s the bigger risk.”
“She’s got a huge job at NBCU. She’s the chairman of all advertising and partnerships. She oversees everything from big sports events, the Olympics. So now you’re gonna go into this pretty risky situation where you just have to hope that Elon Musk doesn’t change his mind,” Fischer said.
“For advertisers, that erraticness is a little bit of a cause for concern, and there’s only so much that Linda can do.”
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Watch the full “CNN This Morning” segment in the video above.