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Linda Yaccarino speaks onstage during Seat At The Table on March 23 ( Image: Getty Images for The Female Quotient)

Musk confirms Linda Yaccarino as new Twitter CEO

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NBCUniversal exec Linda Yaccarino has extensive experience in generating ad-driven revenue having been a key part of the team that launched NBC’s Peacock platform

Elon Musk has confirmed that the new CEO for Twitter, or X Corp. as it’s now called, will be NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino, an executive with deep ties to the advertising industry.

“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” Musk wrote in a Friday tweet. He added that Yaccarino “will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.”

Ms Yaccarino has worked at NBCUniversal for nearly 12 years – with her team generating more than $100 billion in ad sales since 2011, her company bio notes.

According to LinkedIn, Ms Yaccarino previously served as NBC’s chair for advertising and client partnerships and as president of cable entertainment and digital advertising sales. Prior to her time with NBC, Ms Yaccarino worked at global entertainment company Turner for almost two decades.

Ms Yaccarino interviewed Musk on a Miami stage last month in front of hundreds of advertisers.

Luring advertisers is critical for Musk and Twitter after many fled in the early months after his takeover of the social media platform, fearing harm to their brands in the ensuing chaos. Musk said in late April that advertisers had returned, but provided no details.

Ms Yaccarino could help restore advertisers’ faith in Twitter, ad agency DiGo founder and creative chief Mark DiMassimo said.

Linda Yaccarino speaks onstage during Seat At The Table on March 23
Linda Yaccarino speaks onstage during Seat At The Table on March 23 ( Image:
Getty Images for The Female Quotient)

He noted that Ms Yaccarino successfully integrated and digitised ad sales at Comcast and NBC – and that her track record of cross-selling ads across different platforms could appeal to Musk as he tries to transform Twitter from a social media company to a bigger media platform.

“If anyone can translate the Musk vision into advantages for marketers she’ll be able to do it,” Mr DiMassimo said. “Even though there’s scepticism and all marketers live in the `show me’ state right now with regard to Twitter, if in fact she does go to Twitter this is a powerfully reassuring move.”

Musk has long insisted he is not the company’s permanent CEO. The Tesla billionaire said in a tweet Thursday that his role will transition to being Twitter’s executive chairman and chief technology officer.

Elon Musk's stint as Twitter CEO has been a turbulent one
Elon Musk’s stint as Twitter CEO has been a turbulent one ( Image: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Analysts who follow Twitter’s business welcomed the news even without knowing who the replacement will be.

“A new CEO is the only way forward for Twitter,” said Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg.

“The single biggest problem with Twitter’s ad business was Elon Musk. As he steps back, Twitter can begin to unravel Musk’s personal brand from the company’s corporate image and attempt to regain trust among advertisers,” Enberg said. “The success of those efforts will depend on who takes over, but it’s difficult to imagine that the new CEO could be more controversial or damaging to Twitter’s ad business than Musk has been.”

Shares of Tesla rose about 2 per cent Thursday after Musk made the announcement. Shareholders of the electric car company have been concerned about how much of his attention is being spent on Twitter.

Last November, Musk was questioned in court about how he splits his time between Tesla and his other companies, including SpaceX and Twitter.

Musk had to testify in the trial in Delaware’s Court of Chancery over a shareholder’s challenge to his potentially $55 billion compensation plan as CEO of the electric car company.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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