The rumors are true: Elon Musk has chosen NBCU leader Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s next CEO.
Musk confirmed Yaccarino’s new role in a tweet this morning, a day after announcing that he had completed his search for a new CEO.
“I look forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app,” Musk wrote.
Yaccarino announced Friday morning that she would be leaving her role as President of Global Advertising & Partnerships at NBCU.
It’s smart to put a well-known advertising executive at the helm of Twitter, as Musk’s leadership has fueled that important facet of Twitter’s business. Musk said he will stay on as chairman and “CTO, overseeing products, software and sysops.” With erratic content moderation policies and inconsistent, sometimes misleading verification systems, Twitter has drained advertisers. The company has also laid off critical teams for monetization, such as the sales team.
Musk and Yaccarino already seem to have a bit of a rapport. Last month, Yaccarino interviewed Musk at an advertising conference in Miami, where she appeared complimentary of the business mogul.
“Elon is committed to being accessible to everyone for ongoing feedback,” she says said on stage. “He has also opened up to getting involved with the new transparency and security rules he posted yesterday. Remember, freedom of speech does not equate freedom of reach.”
She also pointed out to Elon that “the people in this room (Twitter) are the path to profitability.” Since its inception, Twitter’s most effective way of making money has been advertising, and Musk’s attempts to monetize the blue check have been unsuccessful.
We don’t know if the two were negotiating at the time, but Yaccarino seemed motivated to clean up the Twitter brand and encourage viewers to voice their concerns to Musk in a Q&A. She reiterated Musk’s position on freedom of speech with regard to advertisers, namely that freedom of speech does not mean “freedom of reach.”
“If freedom of speech, as he says, is the foundation of this country, I’m not sure there’s anyone in this room who would disagree,” Yaccarino said when interviewing Musk. “Can I get a round of applause for that?”
This story develops…