Elon Musk said that he has appointed Linda Yaccarino, the former president of advertising at NBCUniversal, as Twitter’s new CEO, giving up the top position at the social media business he acquired for $44 billion in October.
Musk already indicated that his tenure in the role will be brief. On Thursday, he posted on Twitter, “Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!”
Yaccarino, 60, “will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology,” he wrote on Twitter on Friday, making the official announcement.
Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!
My role will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2023
He wrote, “Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app,” an allusion to his goals to make Twitter into an all-purpose platform that includes messaging, payments, and commerce.
Yaccarino’s departure from NBCUniversal was announced “effective immediately” by the firm on Friday morning. Her sudden departure occurs just a few days before NBCUniversal’s annual “upfronts” presentation, the greatest television advertising event of the year.
After Jeff Shell left NBCUniversal last month, Yaccarino, who had been mentioned as a potential successor, stated on Friday: “It has been an absolute honor to be part of Comcast NBCUniversal.”
She was initially mentioned as being in talks for the Twitter position by The Wall Street Journal.
A keynote address titled “Twitter 2.0: From Conversations to Partnerships” was recently delivered by Musk and Yaccarino at a conference in Miami. Those who watched the presentation said that they appeared to get along well on stage, with Yaccarino showing a flair for showmanship. One who is familiar with the situation claims that the two have libertarian political views in common.
The announcement comes as shareholders of Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer that Musk also controls, have stepped up their pressure on him to shift his attention back to that business. Shares of Tesla have dropped 30% over the past year. The news of the new Twitter CEO caused the stock in Tesla to increase by around 2%.
Prior to his announcement, Musk stated that he would be taking up the positions of Twitter’s executive chair and chief technology officer, “overseeing product, software, and sysops [systems operations]”.
According to people with knowledge of the situation, Twitter bankers and investors have also been pressing Musk to appoint new management as quickly as feasible.
At a time when there are significant tensions between Musk and advertisers over his choice to ease content filtering and his occasionally unconventional leadership, Yaccarino, a well-respected advertising executive, will bring to Twitter a close relationship with marketers and ad agencies.