Twitter appoints former NBCUniversal advertising chief Linda Yaccarino as CEO

Elon Musk-owned Twitter has appointed former NBCUniversal advertising chief Linda Yaccarino as CEO to revive the business of the social media company.
Linda Yaccarino of TwitterLinda Yaccarino will replace Elon Musk as the next CEO.

“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter,” Elon Musk said. “@LindaYacc will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design and new technology.”

Linda Yaccarino modernized the Comcast entertainment and media division’s advertising business and had been in talks for the job before NBC announced her departure on Friday morning.

Since Elon Musk acquired Twitter in October, advertisers have fled the platform, worried that their ads could appear next to inappropriate content after the company lost nearly 80 percent of staff. Elon Musk earlier this year acknowledged that Twitter suffered a massive decline in ad revenue.

Twitter’s trajectory will immediately take a 180-degree turn under her leadership, said Lou Paskalis, a long-time ad industry executive and CEO of AJL Advisory, a marketing consultancy.

Elon Musk axed thousands of employees, rushed the launch of a subscription product that allowed scammers to impersonate major brands and suspended users with whom he disagreed.

Her exit is another big blow to NBCUniversal. Last month, NBC parent Comcast said NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was leaving after acknowledging an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, following a complaint that prompted an investigation.

Advertising President Mark Marshall will step in as interim chairman of NBCUniversal’s advertising and partnerships group.

Linda Yaccarino’s exit comes at a difficult time for NBCUniversal, which is preparing for its annual upfront presentation to advertisers on Monday at Radio City Music Hall.

Linda Yaccarino joined NBCU in 2011, after 15 years at Turner Entertainment, and has been credited with taking the network’s ad sales operation into the digital era.

“Twitter needs credibility with the advertising community,” said Greg Kahn, chief executive of GK Digital Ventures media consultancy. “Linda has demonstrated her trust, her innovative nature of bringing new partners to the table and a deep bench of relationships.”

Elon Musk, CEO of electric vehicle maker Tesla, completed his purchase of Twitter in October for $44 billion.

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