In a few weeks, Elon Musk will hand over the helm of Twitter to Linda Yaccarino. But who exactly is the new CEO, and how does he fit into Musk’s vision of “the whole app”?
Musk, who brought Chirping in October and has been running it ever since, he has long insisted on stepping down as senior executive of the company, which is now called X Corp.
In a tweet to her 139 million followers on Friday, she said she was “excited” to welcome Yaccarino, 60, to the role, adding she was “looking forward to working with Linda on turning this platform into X, the app for everything”.
Musk said Ms. Yaccarino’s primary focus will be on business operations, while remaining closely connected to product design and new technologies.
With Ms. Yaccarino’s background in the advertising industry, Musk is hoping Twitter could appeal to advertisers who initially shied away from the platform following Musk’s takeover, fearing damage to their brand.
‘A marketer’s leader’
A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, USA, Yaccarino built her career as an advertising executive, having previously held various roles at Turner Broadcasting System Inc, a global broadcasting company now owned by Warner Bros.
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Starting in media outlets, she worked her way up to executive vice president and chief operating officer positions from 1996 to 2011, before joining NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.
He oversaw the merger of NBC and Comcast – the creation of NBCUniversal – and as chairman of the company, managed marketing strategy and advertising revenue – which totaled nearly $10bn (£8bn) for the entire portfolio of broadcast, cable and digital assets.
Just before the announcement of the acquisition of TwitterNBCUniversal said the mother of two will step down from her current role as president, global advertising and partnerships, which she held for just over two years.
She has been described as “a marketing leader” by Mark DiMassimo, founder and creative head of ad agency DiGo, who added, “She understands what marketers need.”
During his 12 years at NBCUniversal, his team generated more than $100bn (£80bn) in advertising sales, according to company notes.
Making changes in the advertising industry
Throughout her career, Ms. Yaccarino has changed the way the advertising industry works.
One of the most notable has been the introduction of a digital platform known as One Platform, which makes it easier to buy advertising across a variety of different media.
“I think first and foremost it will bring to Twitter an understanding of what advertisers need to see to come back to the platform from a brand safety perspective,” said Dave Campanelli, chief investment officer at media buying firm Horizon Media.
She said Ms. Yaccarino knows “better than anyone” what it will take to bring advertisers and buyers back to the company.
“The question really is, will he have free rein to do all of this or will it just be the same old, same old (with Musk),” Campanelli said.
Since taking over Twitter, Musk has regularly shed light on any controversies, but investors in Tesla have become increasingly concerned that he has spent too much time changing the platform.
Some critics questioned Ms. Yaccarino’s political leanings, having previously worked closely with the administrations of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
In 2018, Trump nominated Ms. Yaccarino to serve on his Council on Sports Fitness and Nutrition for two years.
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Then, as chairman of the Ad Council in both 2021 and 2022, he worked with Biden and the White House to help create a coronavirus vaccination campaign that has reached more than 200 million Americans.
Ms Yaccarino is also chair of the World Economic Forum’s Task Force On The Future Of Work, a long-winded job title that ultimately means helping decision makers in both the public and private sectors train workers in low-lying economies. carbon footprint and high tech.