Elon Musk names NBCU ad exec Linda Yaccarino new Twitter CEO
Yaccarino 'will focus primarily on business operations,' Musk said.
On Thursday, Twitter CEO Elon Musk said he had appointed someone to take over from him as CEO, and it didn't take long for that person's identity to be confirmed. Less than a day later, Musk confirmed that NBCUniversal's head of ad sales Linda Yaccarino is taking on the job. Yaccarino is expected to start her new role in around six weeks.
Yaccarino "will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design and new technology," Musk wrote. "Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app."
I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!@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. https://t.co/TiSJtTWuky
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2023
Shortly after Musk said he is giving up the CEO gig to become Twitter's chief technical officer and executive chair, reports suggested that Yaccarino was in talks for the position. On Friday, NBCU confirmed that Yaccarino was leaving the company. That's not exactly ideal timing for NBCU given that the company is set to show off its upcoming programming slate to advertisers early next week.
Under Yaccarino's watch, NBCU has continued its close ties with Twitter. The two sides recently expanded their partnership for the 2024 Olympic Games, which will see Twitter host video from the event. Yaccarino tweeted at Musk around the time news emerged of the companies' renewed partnership. "“Hey, @elonmusk, here’s an idea for our new partnership: Periscope for Paris 2024. Let’s just go hi-res first," Yaccarino wrote.
Hey @elonmusk here’s an idea for our new partnership: Periscope for #Paris2024. Let’s just go hi-res first…😉 🇺🇸🇫🇷🥇 https://t.co/Np7Bz709cv pic.twitter.com/24KTknXVJi
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) May 3, 2023
Yaccarino could help Twitter to smooth over its fractured relationships with some advertisers. In the months after Musk assumed control of Twitter, reports suggested that many of the company's top advertisers had temporarily stopped spending ad dollars on the platform. Some were said to have expressed concern about their ads appearing next to hate speech and misinformation under Musk's looser approach to content moderation.
Musk bought Twitter in October and his tenure has been chaotic, to say the least. From swiftly firing the former leadership team and laying off thousands of workers to moving forward with a plan to purge inactive accounts (including those of the deceased), it seems like barely a day has gone by over the last seven months without something happening around Elon Musk and Twitter.
Back in December, Musk posted a poll on Twitter, asking users if he should remain as CEO or bring someone else in. More than 17.5 million votes later, the majority (57.5 percent) voted in favor of Musk stepping down. Musk promised to do just that and focus on the technical side of Twitter's operations as soon as he could find someone to take over. Five months later, it seems he has stuck by his word.
Shortly after Musk said he is stepping away from Twitter's top job, Tesla's share price jumped up. With Tesla falling behind on its goal of delivering 1.8 million vehicles this year despite a litany of price cuts, and the Cybertruck perhaps being pushed back again due to a battery production delay, Musk may need to pay closer attention to that company. Stockholders appear to be pleased that he may be able to devote more time to Tesla — but rumors suggest he might be moving on from the CEO position at that company too.