Musk taps ads veteran Linda Yaccarino as potential Twitter CEO

Elon Musk will now be the chief technology officer (CTO) of Twitter

NEW DELHI | Updated: 12 May, 2023 10:07 am IST
While Musk didn't reveal the identity of the new CEO, rumors suggest that it's Linda Yaccarino.

NEW DELHI: Twitter has hired its new female CEO who will assume the office in about 6 weeks, its boss Elon Musk announced on Friday, adding that he will now be transitioning to the role of the chief technology officer (CTO) within the company.

“Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks! My role will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops,” he announced on Twitter.

While Musk did not reveal the name of the new CEO, speculations have emerged that Linda Yaccarino, the current chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, is the top candidate for the position.

Journalist and Silicon Valley insider Kara Swisher suggested that Yaccarino might be the chosen candidate. The Wall Street Journal also followed suit, reporting that Yaccarino is likely to assume the role of Twitter CEO.

Linda Yaccarino is a well-known figure in the media industry, having spent over two decades at NBCUniversal, where she has held various leadership positions. Currently, she is responsible for overseeing all global advertising and partnerships businesses within the company.

No official confirmation has been issued from NBCUniversal’s side, and Yaccarino herself has remained tight-lipped about the potential appointment.

If Yaccarino does indeed become the new CEO of Twitter, Musk would be following the classic Silicon Valley approach of bringing in industry insiders to handle the operational side of the company while focusing on engineering and product development. Notable examples include Google’s hiring of Eric Schmidt and Facebook’s utilization of Sheryl Sandberg as COO to oversee the business aspects of the company.

Since Musk’s acquisition of Twitter for $44 billion last year, he has initiated significant changes within the social media platform, including the dismissal of several top executives, such as CEO Parag Agrawal. Musk has also conducted extensive layoffs, letting go of 75 per cent of the Twitter workforce, and implemented content moderation and product enhancements, including incorporating the verification system into an improved subscription service.

Back in November, Musk expressed feeling overwhelmed with his workload after the Twitter acquisition, and in December, he polled Twitter users about the possibility of stepping down as CEO, with a majority of respondents supporting the idea. Musk playfully mentioned that he would resign as soon as he found “someone foolish enough to take the job” and expressed his intention to appoint a new CEO by the end of 2023.

Linda Yaccarino’s potential appointment as Twitter’s CEO would bring a wealth of experience and industry knowledge to the role. She has played a pivotal role in advocating for improved advertising effectiveness and was instrumental in the launch of NBCUniversal’s ad-supported Peacock streaming service.

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