Independent , Honest and Dignified Journalism

Linda Yaccarino named new CEO of Twitter by Elon Musk

Twitter hopes to restore advertisers' faith with new CEO Linda Yaccarino

12-5-2023 : In a recent tweet, Elon Musk confirmed that Linda Yaccarino, an executive with deep ties to the advertising industry, will be Twitter’s new CEO. Yaccarino has worked at NBCUniversal for nearly 12 years, where her team generated over $100 billion in ad sales since 2011. Prior to that, Yaccarino worked at Turner for almost two decades. She was also NBC’s chair for advertising and client partnerships and president of cable entertainment and digital advertising sales.

Musk has stated that Yaccarino will primarily focus on business operations, while he focuses on product design and new technology. Luring advertisers is critical for Musk and Twitter after many fled in the early months following Musk’s takeover of the social media platform. Musk has said that advertisers have returned, but provided no details. Yaccarino’s expertise could help restore advertisers’ faith in Twitter. 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.

Musk has long insisted that he is not the company’s permanent CEO. The Tesla billionaire said in a tweet on Thursday that his role will transition to being Twitter’s executive chairman and chief technology officer. In mid-November, just a few weeks after buying the social media platform for $44 billion, he told a Delaware court that he does not want to be the CEO of any company. In February, he told a conference he anticipated finding a CEO for San Francisco-based Twitter “probably toward the end of this year.”

Analysts who follow Twitter’s business welcomed the news of a new CEO even without knowing who the replacement will be. Twitter’s advertising business has taken a hit under Musk’s mercurial rule, though the billionaire told BBC last month that the company is now “roughly” breaking even.

While advertising is not the only challenge that Twitter’s new CEO will face, Musk has “fundamentally altered” Twitter both as a product and a community, arguably “for the worst,” according to Mike Proulx, research director at Forrester Research. Proulx added that Musk is far from likely to step back from calling the product shots.

Musk’s tenure at Twitter’s helm has been chaotic, and he’s made various promises and proclamations he’s backtracked or never followed up on. He began his first day firing the company’s top executives, followed by roughly 80% of its staff. He’s upended the platform’s verification system and has scaled back content moderation and safeguards against the spread of misinformation. Musk has expressed pessimism about the prospects for a new CEO, saying that person “must like pain a lot” to run a company that “has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy.”