Advertising Exec Linda Yaccarino Named New CEO of Twitter

Twitter 2.0 is ready for takeoff, now that former NBCUniversal advertising chief Linda Yaccarino has been appointed the social media giant’s new CEO. Yaccarino has extensive experience in advertising and has long been one of Madison Avenue’s major power brokers. Twitter, which relies primarily on ad revenue, is still trying to recover from stumbling after Elon Musk alienated sponsors in a series of erratic moves immediately after acquiring the company for $44 billion in October. Musk says he will now focus on product design and technology while Yaccarino concentrates on business development.

Prior to Friday’s announcement, Musk has served as acting CEO of Twitter, a move that greatly disquieted investors at Tesla and SpaceX, who felt the entrepreneurial engineer was spreading himself too thin. In appointing Yaccarino, Musk makes good on a December 20 tweet saying he would “resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!”

Yaccarino and Musk “appear aligned on political issues — such as a more permissive approach toward speech on Twitter — that are central to his vision for the platform,” The New York Times reports.

“She is a conservative and a critic of so-called woke discourse, a term used by conservatives to describe elements of left-wing social progressivism they view as censorious,” per NYT, and was twice-appointed to two-year terms on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition during the Trump administration.

Yaccarino will face some advertising challenges at Twitter. The San Francisco-based company has shed 75 percent of its workforce since Musk took over, assumed $13 billion in debt, “and has grappled with gaps in expertise and technical glitches,” NYT writes, adding that in Musk she’ll have “to deal with a mercurial and unpredictable boss,” one with “a track record of firing executives who don’t achieve his goals.”

Variety writes that advertising on Twitter “had cratered by as much as 50 percent” since Musk bought the company where Yaccarino is expected to assume her new perch “by the end of June.” “Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app,” Musk tweeted Friday.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal is among those musing over erstwhile FOX News host Tucker Carlson possibly hosting a new streaming show on Twitter. On the plus side, “his arrival could help increase traffic,” as Musk pursues his reinvention goals, while minuses include the risk of “further unnerving advertisers,” WSJ writes.

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