Former NBCUniversal ad chief Linda Yaccarino will be the new CEO of Twitter: Elon Musk

Former head of advertising at NBCUniversal Linda Yaccarino he will become the new CEO of Twitter, current CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet on Friday.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” Musk said. “@LindaYacc will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design and new technologies.”
Yaccarino has modernized the advertising business of Comcast Corp’s entertainment and media division and was in talks for the job before NBC announced his departure Friday morning.
Since Musk acquired Twitter in October, advertisers have abandoned the platform, concerned that their ads could appear alongside inappropriate content after the company lost nearly 80% of its staff. Musk acknowledged earlier this year that Twitter has suffered a massive decline in ad revenue.
Twitter’s “trajectory will immediately take a 180-degree turn” under his leadership, said Lou Paskalis, a longtime advertising industry executive and CEO of AJL Advisory, a marketing consultancy.
Musk fired thousands of employees, rushed to launch a subscription product that allowed scammers to impersonate major brands, and suspended users he disagreed with.
“I think (Yaccarino) climbed every mountain he could at NBCU and he did it flawlessly. And there’s no greater challenge than restoring order on Twitter,” she said.
Yaccarino could not be reached for comment.
His exit is another blow to NBCUniversal. Last month, NBC parent Comcast said NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell would be leaving after acknowledging an inappropriate relationship with a woman at the company, following a complaint that prompted an investigation.
Advertising president Mark Marshall will step in as interim president of NBCUniversal’s advertising and partnerships group. Marshall was named president of advertising sales and partnerships in 2018, overseeing NBC’s television entertainment, sports and advanced advertising sales.
Yaccarino’s exit comes at a difficult time for NBCUniversal, which is gearing up for its annual upfront presentation to advertisers on Monday at Radio City Music Hall.
Yaccarino joined NBCU in 2011, after 15 years at Turner Entertainment, and is credited with bringing the network’s ad sales operations into the digital age.
As TV audiences switched to streaming, she took the stage at Radio City Music Hall last year to tell advertisers that their brand messaging wasn’t an afterthought. She said NBCUniversal has been incorporating ads into its Peacock streaming service since the beginning.
“Twitter needs credibility with the advertising community,” said Greg Kahn, managing director of media consultancy GK Digital Ventures. “Linda demonstrated her confidence, her innovative nature in bringing new partners to the table, and a deep relationship bench.”
Musk, the chief executive officer of electric vehicle maker Tesla, completed the purchase of Twitter in October for $44 billion. In December, he said he would step down as chief executive once “someone foolish enough to take the job” was found.
On Thursday, Musk tweeted that he had found a CEO without naming Yaccarino. A person close to Yaccarino said Musk’s tweet may have sped up the timetable for his joining Twitter, which would be a balm for Tesla shareholders.
Shares of Tesla fell 1.3% on Friday as analysts commented that hiring a CEO would allow Musk to focus on the EV business. Comcast’s stock was little changed.


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