Ex-NBCUniversal ad chief Linda Yaccarino will be new Twitter CEO: Elon Musk


Former advertising executive for NBCUniversal Linda Yaccarino will be the new CEO of Twitter, current CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet on Friday.
“I’m excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” Musk said. “@LindaYacc will mainly focus on business operations while I focus on product design and new technologies.”
Yaccarino was modernizing the advertising business of Comcast Corp’s entertainment and media division and was in talks for the job before NBC announced her departure Friday morning.
Since Musk took over Twitter in October, advertisers have exited the platform over concerns that their ads could appear alongside inappropriate content after the company lost nearly 80% of its employees. Musk acknowledged earlier this year that Twitter has suffered a massive drop in ad revenue.
Under her leadership, the evolution of Twitter will “take an immediate 180-degree turn,” said Lou Paskalis, veteran advertising industry executive and CEO of AJL Advisory, a marketing consulting firm.
Musk laid off thousands of employees, accelerated the launch of a subscription product that allowed scammers to pose as big brands, and banned users he disagreed with.
“I think[Yaccarino]climbed every mountain she could at NBCU and did it immaculately. And there is no greater challenge than restoring order to Twitter,” he said.
Yaccarino could not be reached for comment.
Her departure is another major blow to NBCUniversal. Last month, NBC parent company Comcast said NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was leaving the company after admitting an inappropriate relationship existed with a woman at the company after a complaint sparked an investigation.
Advertising President Mark Marshall will step in as interim chairman of NBCUniversal’s advertising and partnerships group. Marshall was named President of Ad Sales and Partnerships in 2018 and was responsible for NBC’s broadcast entertainment, sports and advanced advertising sales.
Yaccarino’s exit comes at a difficult time for NBCUniversal as it prepares for its annual preview to advertisers Monday at Radio City Music Hall.
Yaccarino joined NBCU in 2011 after 15 years at Turner Entertainment and will be responsible for leading the network’s ad sales into the digital age.
As television audiences transitioned to streaming, she took the stage at Radio City Music Hall last year to let advertisers know her brand messages weren’t an afterthought. She said that NBCUniversal integrated advertising into its streaming service, Peacock, from the start.
“Twitter needs credibility with the advertising community,” said Greg Kahn, managing director of media consultancy GK Digital Ventures. “Linda has demonstrated her confidence, innovative way of bringing new partners to the table and a deep relationship base.”
Musk, the CEO of electric vehicle maker Tesla, completed the $44 billion purchase of Twitter in October. He said in December that he would step down as CEO once he “found someone stupid enough to take the job.”
On Thursday, Musk tweeted that he had found a CEO without naming Yaccarino. A person close to Yaccarino said Musk’s tweet may have accelerated the timeline for her joining Twitter, which would be balm for Tesla shareholders.
Shares of Tesla fell 1.3% on Friday as analysts noted that hiring a CEO would allow Musk to focus on the electric vehicle business. Comcast stock was little changed.

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