Linda Yaccarino: The Advertising Expert Picked by Elon Musk to Lead Twitter
Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur and owner of Twitter, has announced that he has found a new CEO for the social media platform. NBCUniversal executive Linda Yaccarino is said to be in talks for the role, with Musk revealing that she will start in approximately six weeks’ time. The move comes after Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, stating that he would only be in charge for a limited time to complete the organizational overhaul he thought the company needed to prosper.
Musk has been implementing radical changes at Twitter and complained of having “too much work,” even sleeping at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters. He has faced criticism for neglecting his other businesses, including Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and changing the corporate name of Twitter’s parent to X Holdings, which could eventually be the parent for all his businesses.
Despite a slight uptick in daily users since early 2022, Twitter’s revenue has fallen by 50% since October, resulting in a “massive decline” in advertising. The next CEO will have to deal with the fallout from Musk’s ownership, including an advertiser exodus. Musk has cut thousands of jobs, scaled back the company’s content moderation and allowed accounts previously banned for breaking the rules to return. He has also expressed his desire to build Twitter beyond social media and into an “everything app,” including financial services.
Yaccarino is a veteran of NBCUniversal, having been with the organisation since 2011. In her role as chairman of advertising and client partnerships, Yaccarino has been credited with transforming the organisation’s advertising and partnership by bringing individual network teams together and becoming the “bridge” across NBC properties. She is responsible for managing over $10B in revenue annually and has been recognised for her achievements, including being named one of the “Ten Most Powerful Women in TV” by Adweek in 2011 and a “CEO of Tomorrow” by Business Week.
While Yaccarino has not yet confirmed her appointment, she already has a friendly relationship with Musk, who called her “friend” and “buddy” on stage during an interview last month. Yaccarino’s appointment as CEO would see Musk transition to a new role as chief technologist and executive chairman, overseeing product, software and sysops. It remains to be seen how Yaccarino will handle the challenges of leading Twitter under Musk’s ownership, but her experience and accolades suggest she is well-equipped for the job.