Elon Musk hires Ad expert, Linda Yaccarino as Twitter CEO

Elon Musk has hired ex-NBCUniversal advertising chief Linda Yaccarino to be the new Twitter CEO.

Elon Musk hires Ad expert, Linda Yaccarino as Twitter CEO
Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino discussing “Twitter 2.0: From Conversations to Partnerships” at a conference in Florida, last month. 

After about six months of leading Twitter, Elon Musk has hired NBCUniversal’s former head of advertising, Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s new chief executive. “I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” Musk tweeted on Friday. He said she “will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.”

Earlier today, Linda resigned from her role at NBCUniversal, same day Elon Musk tweeted that he has found a new CEO for Twitter and that “she” will start in a matter of weeks. “It has been an absolute honor to be part of Comcast NBCUniversal and lead the most incredible team,” she said in a statement.

Who is Linda Yaccarino?

Linda previously worked as a college intern at NBCUniversal before she joined the company again in 2011, as the president of cable entertainment and digital advertising, sales. Until today, she was the chairman of global advertising and partnerships at the company.

Under her leadership working with an ad sales team of 2000 people [less than the total number of Twitter employees, following Musk's takeover], NBCUniversal has generated $100 billion in the last 11 years. The company has also secured several partnerships with Twitter, Apple News, Buzzfeed, Snapchat and YouTube.

Prior to NBCUniversal, Linda worked as an executive vice president and COO of advertising sales, marketing, and acquisitions for Turner. She is an alumna of Penn State University, where she studied liberal arts and telecommunications.

Will Linda reverse the Twitter ad exodus?

“The single biggest problem with Twitter’s ad business was Elon Musk. As he steps back, Twitter can begin to unravel Musk’s personal brand from the company’s corporate image and attempt to regain trust among advertisers,” says Jasmine Enberg, a principal analyst at Insider Intelligence.

After Musk acquired Twitter last October, several advertisers left the platform, worried that their ads could appear next to inappropriate content after the company lost nearly 80% of staff. He has since admitted to decline in ad revenue at the company.

Within the same period, Elon Musk fired 80% of the company's employees, he launched Twitter Blue verification, a subscription product that allowed scammers to impersonate major brands and suspended users with whom he disagreed. He also took away legacy verified checkmarks from notable individuals, including journalists thereby increasing misinformation.

Recently, amidst the conflict in Sudan, a Twitter Blue verified account tweeted a false claim that one of the principal actors in the conflict died from injuries sustained during the crises. The tweet received over 1.7 million views before Twitter removed it.

"I think (Yaccarino) has climbed every mountain she could at NBCU and did it impeccably well. And there's no greater challenge than restoring order at Twitter," Lou Paskalis, CEO of AJL Advisory, a marketing consultancy.

This is a developing story

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