Former NBCUniversal advertising chief to take helm at Twitter under ownership of Elon Musk as company seeks to bring back large brands
Elon Musk has named NBCUniversal advertising boss Linda Yaccarino as chief executive of Twitter.
The move comes about five months after Musk held a poll on the social media platform in which users voted for him to step down as head of the site, which he purchased last October for $44 billion (£35bn).
Musk said at the time he would resign as chief executive “as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job”.
Announcing Yaccarino’s appointment Musk said he would remain directly involved with the platform as chief technology officer.
Musk also said he is taking up the role of executive chairman of Twitter after dissolving its previous board last year – along with firing its previous executive team and more than three-quarters of the company’s staff.
“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter,” Musk said in a tweet late on Friday.
“[She] will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.
“Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app.”
I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!@LindaYacc will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.
Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app. https://t.co/TiSJtTWuky
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2023
A day earlier Musk had revealed the appointment of a chief executive who would start the job in about six weeks, without disclosing her identity.
“I’ve long been inspired by your vision to create a brighter future. I’m excited to help bring this vision to Twitter and transform this business together,” Yaccarino replied on Twitter.
NBCUniversal said Yaccarino would step down immediately as its head of global advertising and partnerships.
Thank you @elonmusk!
I’ve long been inspired by your vision to create a brighter future. I’m excited to help bring this vision to Twitter and transform this business together! https://t.co/BcvySu7K76
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) May 13, 2023
Musk said he and Yaccarino would answer questions in a Twitter Spaces session “as soon as [she] is ready”.
Musk has been under pressure from Tesla shareholders to focus more of his attention on the electric carmaker.
Meanwhile, Twitter has seen a sharp drop in advertising revenues under Musk as large clients shy away from Musk’s controversial management style.
Yaccarino has been known for her work with large brands, with a negotiating style that has earned her the nickname in the industry of the “velvet hammer”, the Wall Street Journal wrote in 2012.