The name of Linda Yaccarino, the top advertising sales executive at Comcast’s NBCUniversal, began doing the rounds after Elom Musk’s tweet and was also mentioned in a report by The Wall Street Journal.
Twitter owner Elon Musk has said the social media platform will have a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) within the next few weeks. “Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!,” Musk said in a tweet on Friday (May 12) but did not offer other details. The ‘X’ Musk mentioned here refers to the idea of a superapp – meaning a single app having varied services like shopping, banking, ride-hailing, etc. – which he has often talked about.
The name of Linda Yaccarino, the top advertising sales executive at Comcast’s NBCUniversal, began doing the rounds after this tweet and was also mentioned in a recent report by The Wall Street Journal.
Who is Linda Yaccarino?
Yaccarino is a Chairman at NBCUniversal, the American mass media and broadcast company which owns among its assets the Dreamworks animation company, the news channel MSNBC, the entertainment channel E!, and other properties. She has been associated with the company since 2011.
Her LinkedIn page says, “Behind any show, on any screen, there’s an entire economic and technology infrastructure at work. No person has a bigger hand in shaping it than Linda Yaccarino. Every day, Yaccarino transforms the $70 billion premium video ecosystem.” It also mentions her strategic and operational roles, and her job profiles for stewarding and monetising the company’s portfolio of networks, digital and streaming platforms, distribution and commerce partnerships, and client relationships.
“Since joining NBCU in 2011, her team has generated more than $100 billion in ad sales, expanded the company’s reach globally, forged groundbreaking commercial partnerships, launched the company’s ad-supported streaming service, and made massive investments in data and technology capabilities,” it adds.
Yaccarino is the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Taskforce on Future of Work and sits on the WEF’s Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry Governors Steering Committee. In her other roles, the profile says she “rallied support from the business community, the White House, and government agencies to create a vaccination campaign, featuring Pope Francis, reaching more than 200 million Americans.”
Before joining NBCU, she was the Executive Vice President/COO Advertising Sales of Marketing and Acquisitions at Turner (formerly Turner Broadcasting System, Inc). She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
Last month, she interviewed Musk at an advertising conference. She encouraged the audience to welcome Musk with applause and lauded his work ethic. “Many of you in this room know me, and you know I pride myself on my work ethic,” she said, adding, “Buddy, I met my match.”
Who are some of the other contenders?
According to a Reuters report, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was suggested in conversations between Twitter employees on Thursday, according to one staffer. Former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who announced last year that she will step down, and a top executive at Musk’ brain-chip startup Neuralink, Shivon Zilis, were also among the names being discussed.
It could also be possible that any of the top women executives from Musk’s other companies, such as SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell and Tesla Inc Chair Robyn Denholm, could be picked, according to Jason Benowitz, senior portfolio manager at CI Roosevelt.
Why is the Twitter CEO being changed?
Tesla shares closed 2.1% higher on Thursday, perhaps reflecting a kind of relief among shareholders over the transition. Since Musk’s $44 billion purchase of the platform last year, he has overseen major changes as the CEO, such as laying off thousands of people in a bid to cut costs.
In December, in a Twitter poll he created, 57.5% users voted for him to step down as CEO, prompted possibly by the speed with which he discussed ideas – sometimes even on Twitter – and simply implemented them based on features like polls. This included bringing back the banned account of former US President Donald Trump. “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!” Musk had said after the poll indicated that most participating users wanted him to resign.