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 electronic mail from a peer within the promoting trade.

Rob Norman, a former government on the advert large WPP, needed 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 boost such considerations, Mr. Norman mentioned. But the principle focus of her discuss with Mr. Musk could be on one thing else: His efforts to revamp the social community into “Twitter 2.0.”

Now Ms. Yaccarino is about to change into the face of Twitter 2.0. Mr. Musk mentioned on Friday that he has chosen Ms. Yaccarino, 60, to change into the corporate’s chief government. 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 expertise.

In deciding on Ms. Yaccarino, Mr. Musk is signaling what he’s prioritizing at Twitter: the corporate’s promoting enterprise, slightly than social media know-how. Ms. Yaccarino has been one in every 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 pressure,” mentioned Joe Marchese, the previous head of advert gross sales at Fox Networks Group, the place he competed with Ms. Yaccarino for advertising {dollars}. “She has one of many largest jobs in promoting, and the advert market is as exhausting because it’s ever been.”

Yet Ms. Yaccarino should do greater than deal with Twitter’s promoting woes. The San Francisco firm has been severely slimmed down since Mr. Musk slashed 75 % of his work pressure 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 file 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 government and buddy of Ms. Yaccarino’s, likened her transfer to Twitter to taking a “step into the lion’s mouth.”

“With her stature within the trade as in all probability some of the beloved and trusted individuals on the income facet, I query why she would topic herself to that sort of potential reputational danger,” he mentioned. “If she fails within the position, then there’s in all probability no approach 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 will probably be up to date.

John Koblin contributed reporting from New York.

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