Elon Musk names Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s new CEO

  • By Natalie Sherman, Siona McCallum
  • BBC news

image source, Getty Images

Elon Musk has appointed Twitter’s new chief executive just over six months after its controversial acquisition of the social media company.

The billionaire said Linda Yaccarino, former head of advertising at NBCUniversal, will oversee the site’s struggling business operations.

He said he would start in six weeks.

Musk will remain involved as executive chairman and chief technology officer.

“We look forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the app for everything,” he said. wrote on twitterHe confirmed the decision the day after he sparked speculation by writing that he had found a new boss without revealing his identity.

Musk, who bought the social media platform for $44 billion last year, is under pressure to find someone else to lead the company and refocus on other businesses such as electric car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX. was

With fewer than 10 percent of Fortune 500 tech companies headed by women, Yaccarino has climbed steadily through the ranks of some of America’s largest media companies to reach the top of the tech giants. A rare example of a woman.

video caption,

Twitter’s new CEO tells Musk that he’s met his mate

Who is Linda Yaccarino?

Yaccarino grew up in an Italian-American family, where his father was a police officer and his mother did not go to college.

After graduating from Pennsylvania State University and working for Turner Entertainment for 15 years, he joined NBCUniversal, overseeing nearly 2,000 employees and helping launch the streaming service.

Her work is characterized by close collaboration with big brands, finding opportunities to place their products and convincing them to advertise in parallel with TV shows. That’s true even for a show like Sex and the City, which started off with a reputation for cutting-edge content.

She has also built relationships with new media such as Apple News, Snapchat and YouTube.

A 2005 profile in an industry publication portrayed her as a busy, married mother of two children, aged 13 and 9 at the time.

“I have no hobbies at all,” she said at the time.

image source, Getty Images

Business Insider’s Claire Atkinson, who has followed Yaccarino’s career for 20 years, said her ad background could be useful for Twitter, which has seen ad sales plummet since Musk’s acquisition. Stated.

“If Twitter is looking to monetize more than it ever has, that’s where it starts and Linda would be the ideal person to make it happen,” said the chief media correspondent.

“She’s the kind of person you could imagine Elon Musk would need,” Atkinson added. “She doesn’t turn over.”

In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal in 2012, her negotiating style within the industry earned her the nickname “The Velvet Hammer.”

Yaccarino said he faces the challenges of running a business that has struggled to generate revenue while facing intense scrutiny over how Twitter deals with the spread of misinformation and controls hate speech. become.

When Musk first began talking about Twitter’s plans last year, he said he wanted to reduce the platform’s reliance on advertising and change how content is managed.

He also said he wants to expand the site’s functionality to include payments, encrypted messaging, phone calls, etc. and turn it into something he calls ‘X’.

But Mr. Musk has caused controversy by firing thousands of staff during the acquisition, including those tasked with dealing with abusive posts.

He also overhauled how the service authenticated accounts and charged a blue tick fee, which critics said would encourage the spread of misinformation.

Some of the changes sparked concerns among advertisers who were concerned about the risks to their brands, after which they stopped spending on the site.

Mr Musk told the BBC last month that businesses were coming back, but admitted that revenue had fallen “significantly”.

image source, Getty Images

At an advertising conference last month, Yaccarino interviewed Musk about what he does to reassure companies that their brands are not put at risk..

“People in this room are an accelerated path to profitability,” she said. “But there are quite a few skeptics in this room.”

Yaccarino’s appointment was met with immediate skepticism on social media, with many seeking cues in her political stance, which many see as conservative-leaning.

Her work at the World Economic Forum, an organization viewed negatively as a “globalist” by the right, has been criticized in some quarters, as has her role in the coronavirus vaccination campaign featuring Pope Francis. Not popular.

Others on the left question her political involvement in the White House Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition under former President Donald Trump.

Musk has also hired women to senior positions at SpaceX and Tesla, and is known as an unpredictable and demanding boss.

Even the announcement was an unusual turn of events, as the media coverage sparked by Mr. Musk’s post identifying Mr. Yaccarino seemed to have caught NBCUniversal’s bosses off guard.

As of mid-Friday, Yaccarino has yet to publicly comment on the move.

Industry watchers will be interested to see how the New Yorker’s relationship with the previously hands-on Musk develops.

Atkinson said the two Twitter executives will face “difficult conversations” about how to handle moderation, especially as the 2024 US presidential election approaches.

“No one knows how long Linda will survive under such difficult management conditions,” Atkinson said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content