Elon Musk Names Linda Yaccarino Twitter CEO
Elon Musk confirmed in a tweet on Friday that Linda Yaccarino is joining Twitter as the company’s new CEO. Hours earlier, NBCUniversal announced that Yaccarino, the company’s chairman of global advertising and partnerships, would depart the company “effective immediately.”
The shakeup comes three days before NBCUniversal makes its annual upfront pitch to advertisers in a typically celebrity studded presentation at Radio City Music Hall.
More from WWD
Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour Scene-Stealing Looks: Live Updates
“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” Musk wrote in a Friday tweet, adding that Yaccarino “will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.”
The news first leaked Thursday after Musk tweeted that he had “hired a new CEO” for Twitter” and that “she” will be starting in about six weeks, setting off furious speculation about the person’s identity.
Yaccarino has deep relationships and copious experience in the global ad sales market. At NBCUniversal, Yaccarino and her team generated more than $100 billion in ad sales since 2011, according to the company.
Advertising sales and client partnerships president Mark Marshall, whom Yaccarino had recently elevated, will take the reins at NBC’s May 15 presentation. He has been named interim chairman of the company’s advertising and partnerships group, reporting to Mark Lazarus, chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.
Musk has upended the company since he was forced to follow through with a $44 billion purchase of Twitter last year. He has purged nearly 4,000 people from its 7,500 work force and loosened content restrictions causing many advertisers to pause spending on the platform of abandon it all together. Meanwhile efforts to force verified users to pay for the blue check marks and head-scratching provocations like labeling NPR “government funded media” and “state affiliated media” have resulted in negative headlines and user defections.
Musk has always said he intended to name a CEO of Twitter. And Yaccarino’s appointment was cheered by Wall Street on Friday. Dan Ives, managing director and tech analyst for Wedbush Securities wrote on Twitter that Yaccarino is a “homerun hire for Twitter” and will “fit in very well to the overall strategy and monetization looking ahead.”
At the very least, Yaccarino will bring a measure of professionalism and corporate polish to the platform, which will hopefully mean no more poop emojis from the Twitter communications team.
Best of WWD
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Helps Forbes Celebrate Its 50 Over 50 List