Linda Yaccarino Is Twitter’s New CEO, Elon Musk Confirms

Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s promoting chief, was making ready to interview Elon Musk, Twitter’s proprietor, onstage at a convention final month when she acquired an e-mail from a peer within the promoting business.

Rob Norman, a former govt on the advert large WPP, wished to know if Ms. Yaccarino had seen the op-ed he wrote after Mr. Musk took over Twitter final yr. Mr. Norman’s column mentioned the tech billionaire’s amplification of misinformation on Twitter and its chilling impact on advertisers.

Ms. Yaccarino mentioned she had and that she deliberate to lift such issues, Mr. Norman mentioned. But the primary focus of her discuss with Mr. Musk can be on one thing else: His efforts to revamp the social community into “Twitter 2.0.”

Now Ms. Yaccarino is about to develop into the face of Twitter 2.0. Mr. Musk mentioned on Friday that he has chosen Ms. Yaccarino, 60, to develop into the corporate’s chief govt. Hours earlier, NBCUniversal had introduced that Ms. Yaccarino was leaving, successfully instantly, with out saying the place she was headed.

“I’m excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the brand new CEO of Twitter,” Mr. Musk tweeted. He mentioned she would primarily deal with enterprise operations whereas he would proceed to work on product design and know-how.

In choosing Ms. Yaccarino, Mr. Musk is signaling what he’s prioritizing at Twitter: the corporate’s promoting enterprise, reasonably than social media know-how. Ms. Yaccarino has been considered one of Madison Avenue’s energy brokers for many years. And Twitter, which makes the majority of its income from advertisements, has been struggling to develop that enterprise, particularly after Mr. Musk spooked advertisers final yr.

“Linda’s a drive,” mentioned Joe Marchese, the previous head of advert gross sales at Fox Networks Group, the place he competed with Ms. Yaccarino for advertising and marketing {dollars}. “She has one of many greatest jobs in promoting, and the advert market is as arduous because it’s ever been.”

Yet Ms. Yaccarino should do greater than cope with Twitter’s promoting woes. The San Francisco firm has been severely slimmed down since Mr. Musk slashed 75 % of his work drive and has grappled with gaps in experience and technical glitches. Twitter is also weighed down by a $13 billion debt load that it took on to allow Mr. Musk to purchase the corporate.

Most considerably, Ms. Yaccarino must take care of a mercurial and unpredictable boss within the type of Mr. Musk. Mr. Musk, 51, has a observe report of firing executives who do not obtain his objectives. He typically tweets information about his corporations, together with the electrical carmaker Tesla, with out warning. And as Twitter’s proprietor, Mr. Musk retains absolute energy on the firm.

Lou Paskalis, a longtime advert govt and pal of Ms. Yaccarino’s, likened her transfer to Twitter to taking a “step into the lion’s mouth.”

“With her stature within the business as in all probability one of the vital beloved and trusted individuals on the income facet, I query why she would topic herself to that form of potential reputational threat,” he mentioned. “If she fails within the function, then there’s in all probability no manner that Twitter will survive as an ad-supported platform.”

Ms. Yaccarino didn’t return requests for remark, however mentioned in NBCUniversal’s assertion that working on the firm “has been an absolute honor.”

This is a creating information story and shall be up to date.

John Koblin contributed reporting from New York.

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