Musk nabs ex-NBCUniversal advert chief Yaccarino as new Twitter CEO

Musk nabs ex-NBCUniversal advert chief Yaccarino as new Twitter CEO

Might 12 (Reuters) – Elon Musk has named former NBCUniversal promoting chief Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s new CEO, as the corporate tries to reverse a plunge in advert income.

Yaccarino will take over a social media platform beset with challenges and a heavy debt load, after she spent a number of years modernizing the promoting enterprise at NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O).

“I’m excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the brand new CEO of Twitter!” Musk stated in a tweet on Friday. “@LindaYacc will focus totally on enterprise operations, whereas I give attention to product design & new know-how.”

Since Musk acquired Twitter in October, advertisers have fled the social media platform, apprehensive that their adverts may seem subsequent to inappropriate content material after the corporate misplaced almost 80% of workers. Musk earlier this yr acknowledged that Twitter suffered a large decline in advert income.

Twitter’s “trajectory will instantly take a 180-degree flip” beneath her management, stated Lou Paskalis, a longtime advert business govt and CEO of AJL Advisory, a advertising consultancy.

“I feel (Yaccarino) has climbed each mountain she may at NBCU and did it impeccably nicely. And there is not any higher problem than restoring order at Twitter,” he stated.

Whereas Musk stated Yaccarino would assist construct an “all the things app,” which he has beforehand stated may provide quite a lot of companies equivalent to peer-to-peer funds, his collection of an promoting veteran signaled that digital adverts would proceed to be a core focus of the enterprise.

Musk has axed hundreds of Twitter staff, rushed the launch of a subscription product that allowed scammers to impersonate main manufacturers and suspended customers with whom he disagreed, all of which have spooked manufacturers from spending on the platform.

So as to diversify away from adverts, the billionaire has centered on Twitter Blue, a subscription function that prices customers $8 per 30 days to confirm their accounts, however the product has had restricted success.

Unbiased researcher Travis Brown, who has been monitoring the variety of Twitter Blue subscribers over time, estimated there have been 619,858 clients as of April 30.

Yaccarino couldn’t be reached for remark.


Her exit is one other large hit to NBCUniversal. Final month, NBC dad or mum Comcast stated NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was leaving after acknowledging an inappropriate relationship with a girl within the firm, following a criticism that prompted an investigation.

Promoting President Mark Marshall will step in as interim chairman of NBCUniversal’s promoting and partnerships group. Marshall was named president of advert gross sales and partnerships in 2018, overseeing NBC’s broadcast leisure, sports activities and superior promoting gross sales.

Yaccarino’s exit comes at a tough time for NBCUniversal, which is making ready for its annual presentation to advertisers on Monday at Radio Metropolis Music Corridor.

Yaccarino joined NBCU in 2011, after 15 years at Turner Leisure, and has been credited with taking the community’s advert gross sales operation into the digital period.

As broadcast tv audiences migrated to streaming, she took to the stage at Radio Metropolis Music Corridor final yr to inform advertisers their model messages weren’t an afterthought. She stated NBCUniversal integrated adverts in its Peacock streaming service from the outset.

“Twitter wants credibility with the promoting group,” stated Greg Kahn, chief govt of GK Digital Ventures media consultancy. “Linda has demonstrated her belief, her modern nature of bringing new companions to the desk and a deep bench of relationships.”

Musk, the CEO of electric-vehicle maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), accomplished his buy of Twitter in October for $44 billion. He stated on Friday that hiring Yaccarino would permit him to spend extra time operating Tesla.

On Thursday, Musk tweeted that he had discovered a CEO with out figuring out Yaccarino. One particular person near Yaccarino stated Musk’s tweet could nicely have accelerated the timetable for her to affix Twitter, which might be a balm to Tesla shareholders.

Shares of Tesla ended down 2.4% at $167.98 on Friday, whereas Comcast shares dipped 0.4% to $40.21.

Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Enhancing by Anil D’Silva

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