Elon Musk Announces Name of Twitter’s Next CEO
Elon Musk, a billionaire businessman, said on Thursday that he had chosen a candidate to succeed him as CEO of Twitter, but conservatives on the site instantly criticized her.
Musk announced his choice of Linda Yaccarino, the former head of NBC, Universal’s ad sales, on Friday morning.
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“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter! [Linda Yacc] will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology. Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app,” Musk tweeted on Friday.
In a tweet on Thursday, Musk said, “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.”
Yaccarino was speaking with Musk about the role, according to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the news first. The source continued by stating that she had resigned from her job at NBCUniversal.
“Ms. Yaccarino had been chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCU. She was with NBCU for more than a decade, where she has been an industry advocate for finding better ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising. As head of NBCU’s advertising sales, she was key in the launch of the company’s ad-supported Peacock streaming service,” the outlet reported.
On Friday, Yaccarino said in a statement: “It has been an absolute honor to be part of Comcast, NBC Universal and lead the most incredible team.”
On Musk’s site, reactions to his apparent selection varied, but conservative users are obviously concerned about Yaccarino’s supposed “wokeness” and have publicly questioned whether shadow bans of their content will resume being widespread.
The WSJ noted further:
Ms. Yaccarino would face immediate challenges as CEO, including wooing back advertisers who have typically provided the bulk of Twitter’s revenue. In 2021, the year before Mr. Musk took Twitter private, advertising accounted for nearly 90% of the company’s revenue. Twitter’s revenue and adjusted earnings dropped by approximately 40% year-over-year in December, The Wall Street Journal previously reported. Mr. Musk said in April that Twitter could be cash-flow positive as soon as this quarter.
Of the top 100 advertisers on Twitter before Mr. Musk bought the company, 37 spent nothing on Twitter advertising during the first quarter of this year, according to market-intelligence firm Sensor Tower, while an additional 24 brands reduced their average monthly Twitter ad spending by 80% or more.
In December, reports noted that Musk was “actively looking” for a new CEO to replace him as the head of the microblogging site after he posted a poll asking users if they wanted him to remain, which most said they did not, leading Musk to claim it was rigged by bots.
“Musk is actively looking for a new CEO of Twitter,” CNBC reporter David Faber said. “As we’ve seen from his previous polls, oftentimes he actually already knows the answer before he asks people to participate in the poll, and that would appear to be the case here as well. Everything I have heard, he has been actively looking, asking, trying to figure out who the candidate pool might actually be.”
“The question is not finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive,” Musk noted on the platform.
Farber noted further:
The final tally showed that 57.5 percent of the 17,502,391 votes wanted Musk to step down as CEO, while 42.5 percent did not. In tweeting the poll on Sunday, Musk said he would “abide by the results of this poll.” Musk has suggested that the poll was rigged by bots and said that only Twitter Blue subscribers, who pay $8 a month to have a blue checkmark next to their account homepage, will be allowed to vote in polls about Twitter policy changes going forward. Nonetheless, Musk had previously said he would not permanently be CEO.
“I frankly don’t want to be the CEO of any company,” Musk told a court in November during a trial related to electric vehicle maker Tesla, which he also heads up.