Elon Musk, on May 12, announced that Linda Yaccarino, the former NBCUniversal (NBCU) head of advertising, will take charge as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of Twitter. In a tweet, Musk wrote that “@LindaYacc will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.”
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
On 11 May, Twitter owner Musk, who made the company part of his X Corp in April, hinted that he has picked a new CEO but did not reveal the name.
Citing “people familiar with the situation,” The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) was the first to report that Yaccarino is “in talks” to become the new CEO.
What did Elon Musk tweet?
“Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!” wrote Musk, adding that he will transition to executive chairperson and chief technical officer (CTO) roles.
“My role will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops,” he added.
Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!
My role will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2023
Interestingly, Musk had appeared at NBCU’s POSSIBLE advertising conference in Miami on 18 April.
He engaged in a conversation with Yaccarino at the event.
“Advertising goes all the way from spam to compelling content. And I really want to focus on obviously the compelling content, to make it relevant, make it interesting,” Musk told Yaccarino at POSSIBLE.
What to know about Linda Yaccarino
Over a decade at NBCU
Yaccarino is currently the chairperson, global advertising and partnerships, at NBCU.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she leads a 2,000-member global team, which has generated over “USD 100 billion in ad sales, expanded the company’s reach globally, forged groundbreaking commercial partnerships, launched the company’s ad-supported streaming service, and made massive investments in data and technology capabilities.”
She joined the company in 2011 in NBCU’s cable entertainment and digital advertising sales division. She was made chairperson of advertising and client partnerships in 2012 before taking up her current role in 2020.
According to WSJ, Yaccarino has been “an industry advocate for finding better ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising.”
Launched Peacock streaming service
The WSJ report credits her with the launch of the Peacock streaming service for NBCU in 2020. Within two years, the ad-supported Peacock became one of the fastest growing streaming platforms in the US.
On 1 May, Variety reported that Peacock had 25 of the Top 100 most-viewed library titles in 2022 in its catalog, including SNL, The Office, and Yellowstone.
Worked at Turner for close to two decades
Before joining NBCU, Yaccarino worked at Turner for 19 years, rising to the position of executive vice president/COO of advertising sales, marketing and acquisitions at the company.
Yaccarino’s LinkedIn profile mentions that she has studied liberal arts and telecommunications at Pennsylvania State University.
Long search for CEO
A few weeks after buying Twitter for USD 44 billion, Elon Musk told a Delaware court in November 2022 that he does not want to be the CEO of any company.
“I expect to reduce my time at Twitter and find somebody else to run Twitter over time,” Musk said.
In December, users on Twitter voted for him to step down in a poll created by Musk himself.
I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software & servers teams.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 21, 2022
Musk subsequently tweeted: “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job.”
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(Hero and Featured images: Comcast)