Elon Musk’s search for a CEO at Twitter is over and reports say Linda Iaccarino is in talks to replace him as chair — she’s a seasoned ad executive whose arrival is likely to mollify fickle advertisers after months of radical overhaul in content moderation and verification, but whose background may alienate some. Loyal billionaire and lover of freedom of expression.
Yaccarino is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Global Advertising and Partnerships at NBCUniversal (NBCU), where she has served for more than a decade and manages a global team of 2,000 people who have generated more than $100 billion in ad sales, according to a company profile.
Yaccarino and her team were instrumental in launching Peacock — NBCU’s ad-supported streaming platform — and have embraced new ways of measuring advertising performance, as well as forging partnerships with the likes of Apple News, Buzzfeed, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter, the profile said.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Yaccarino also participates in the World Economic Forum, WEF, where she chairs the organization’s task force on the future of work and sits on the Media, Entertainment and Culture Steering Committee.
The agenda-setter for industry, political and civic leaders, best known for his annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, has long been a denouncer of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, and Iaccarino’s connection appears to be annoying Some of Musk’s right-wing or anarchist leanings a basewhich notes that her background undermines the platform’s commitment to the freedom of speech it advocates under the current leadership.
Yaccarino has also partnered with the government on several occasions, first helping to promote healthy lifestyles as a member of the President’s Council on Sports and Nutrition, appointed by former President Donald Trump, and later working with government agencies, the White House and Pope Francis. Producing a Covid-19 vaccination campaign in her role as chair of a non-profit ad group called the Ad Council.
And the executive’s attachment to the pandemic-era vaccination campaign has also troubled her Supporters Due to Twitter’s more liberal content moderation policies, many fear that Iaccarino might bring back the tougher columns of misinformation they struggled to weed out before Musk got rid of them.
What we do not know
It is not certain that Iaccarino will be the next CEO of Twitter. While multiple reports indicate she is definitely in the running, neither Yaccarino nor Twitter has confirmed or commented on the speculation. the Wall Street Journal It first reported that Yaccarino was “in talks to become the new CEO,” citing people familiar with the situation. On Friday, and financial times similarly reported, citing two people familiar with the matter, followed by Axios citing a single source. Alex Heath of The Verge said he knew “Yaccarino has been going after the job and telling her friends she wants it”. He suggested Musk stayed mum on the name because of the “unfortunate timing at the end of Yaccarino,” with NBCUniversal’s annual event for advertisers scheduled for Monday.
Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, and his generous tenure at the helm of the company can be described as turbulent. Musk took over as CEO as soon as he took over and immediately proceeded to fire senior leadership, including then-CEO Parag Agrawal. He’s drastically cut staff — it’s down about 80% to 90% from its previous level — and overhauled content moderation to favor a more authoritarian approach to free speech, a move that has angered companies, advertisers and high-profile users. Musk used polls frequently when making important decisions early in his tenure at Twitter and after one in December that narrowly indicated he should step down as CEO, he said he would look for a replacement. On Thursday, Musk tweeted that he was “excited to announce my new CEO,” though he did not name his successor. He said his successor—identified in part by the pronoun “she”—would begin in about six weeks.
What to watch
The new CEO of Twitter comes at a time of change for Twitter, months after a radical redesign by Musk, which greatly strained the attitudes of users and advertisers alike. The main challenge is restoring the trust of advertisers, many of whom cut or suspended ad spending on Twitter when Musk weakened content moderation. Musk, who has reportedly faced pressure to back off Twitter from shareholders in electric car maker Tesla, whose shares have plummeted since the Twitter deal, said his role will transition to CEO and chief technology officer once the new CEO takes over. It’s not clear if Yaccarino, or whoever succeeds Musk, will keep Musk’s controversial changes, particularly regarding content moderation, or revert to the platform’s previous policies.
$179.5 billion. This is Musk’s estimated net worth, according to Forbes Real time tracking. He is the second richest person in the world after French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault and before Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Large portions of Musk’s fortune are tied to Tesla, which he co-founded and leads, though a notable portion of his Tesla stock has been pledged as collateral for loans. He also co-founded the rocket company SpaceX, the tunneling startup The Boring Company, and the neural interfaces company Neuralink.
CEO search on Twitter: NBCUniversal’s Linda Iaccarino talks about Elon Musk, report says (Forbes)
NBCUniversal’s Linda Iaccarino is in talks to become CEO of Twitter (WSJ)