How Linda Yaccarino became Elon Musk's pick for CEO of Twitter

How Linda Yaccarino became Elon Musk’s pick for CEO of Twitter

Linda Yaccarino

Linda Yaccarino has been chosen by Elon Musk to become the next CEO of Twitter, just over six months since Musk’s takeover of the social media platform. 

So far, Yaccarino is presenting as someone who is open to ideas and feedback and determined to improve the social media platform.

“I see I have some new followers…” Yaccarino wrote on Twitter following the news of her appointment last week.

“I’m not as prolific as @elonmusk (yet), but I’m just as committed to the future of this platform.

“Your feedback is VITAL to that future. I’m here for all of it. Let’s keep the conversation going and build Twitter 2.0 together!”

So who is Linda Yaccarino?

60-year-old Yaccarino was previously NBCUniversal’s Chair of Global Advertising and Partnerships, a role where she and her team generated more than $100 billion in annual advertising sales for the Comcast broadcasting division. 

Yaccarino was raised in an Italian-American Catholic family, and currently lives in Long Island in New York with her husband and two children. 

She majored in liberal arts and telecommunications at Penn State University, before working at Turner Entertainment for 15 years. She joined NBCUniversal in 2011, launching its streaming service and overseeing 2000 people as the head of advertising. 

Yaccarino is the Chair of the  World Economic Forum’s Taskforce on the Future of Work. 

Why was she chosen to be CEO at Twitter?

Yaccarino’s strong background in advertising is said to be one of the primary reasons she was chosen for the CEO role at Twitter. Since Musk’s takeover, the social media platform has experienced a drop in its advertising sales. 

Musk has let go of nearly 90 per cent of Twitter’s staff since his takeover, while the site has been plagued with technical issues and controversial changes including to its user verification system.

According to various media reports, Yaccarino is widely regarded as having deep ties with advertising agencies, and is recognised for her negotiating style. Those in the industry have given her the nickname the “Velvet Hammer”. 

Last month, Yaccarino shared a stage with Elon Musk at a marketing conference in Miami Beach, discussing Twitter’s new “freedom of speech, not freedom of reach” policy, and whether it would apply to Musk’s own tweets. 

“Does it apply to your tweets?” she asked Musk, who has a history of tweeting misinformation.“Will you agree to be more specific and not tweet after 3 a.m.?” 

“I will aspire to tweet less after 3 a.m.,” Musk said in reply.

Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino on stage at MMA’s POSSIBLE Miami Event in April

At the conference, Yaccarino also pressed Musk on Twitter’s relationship with advertisers, and whether there will be an “open feedback loop” for advertisers at Twitter, so the social media platform be a place where they want to spend their money.

What happens now?

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, will stay involved at Twitter as executive chairman, chief technology officer and head of product. But he has said he will leave the business operations of Twitter to Yaccarino. 

Yaccarino is due to begin her role in a matter of weeks.


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