Musk's Pick for Twitter CEO Signals His Main Priority

That would be advertising, and Linda Yaccarino was well regarded on that front at NBCUniversal
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2023 1:15 PM CDT
What We Know About Twitter's New CEO
Twitter CEO Elon Musk, center, speaks with Linda Yaccarino, an NBCUniversal exec, at a conference April 18, 2023, in Miami Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

The advance reports were correct: Elon Musk confirmed Friday that he has picked NBCUniversal exec Linda Yaccarino to be the new CEO of Twitter. However, Musk himself will continue to play a role at the company: He wrote that Yaccarino "will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology." Coverage:

  • Advertising: Yaccarino, 60, joined NBCUniversal in 2011 and "had risen to the top of the company’s global advertising business" before announcing her departure Friday, per CNBC. Her resumé is especially relevant given that Twitter has lost big-name advertisers since Musk bought the platform. Among other accomplishments, Yaccarino played a key role in launching the Peacock streaming service, and she pushed the industry "to find better ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising," per the Wall Street Journal. Prior to joining NBC, she worked for the global entertainment company Turner for about 20 years, per the AP.

  • Advertising, II: The New York Times stresses a similar point: With his pick, "Musk is signaling what he is prioritizing at Twitter: the company’s advertising business, rather than social media know-how." The story says Yaccarino "has been one of Madison Avenue’s power brokers for decades," and the piece quotes ad exec Joe Marchese, formerly of Fox Networks Group, as calling Yaccarino a "force" in the field. “She has one of the biggest jobs in advertising, and the ad market is as hard as it’s ever been.”

  • A public meeting: Yaccarino, who will start in about six weeks, has not commented on her new Twitter role. The Journal notes she interviewed Musk last month on a Miami stage in front of advertisers. “Elon has committed to being accessible to everyone for continual feedback,” Yaccarino said at the forum. Later, she added, “If freedom of speech, as he says, is the bedrock of this country, I’m not sure there’s anyone in this room who could disagree with that.”
  • Tesla: Shares of Tesla rose Thursday when news broke that Musk had selected a successor, on the assumption he'd be able to focus more attention on the car business. But shares tumbled Friday after Musk made clear he will retain a big role at Twitter, notes USA Today. Shares were down more than 2% Friday afternoon.
(More Twitter stories.)

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