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


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A peacock is pictured outdoors NBC headquarters at Rockefeller Middle within the Manhattan borough of New York Metropolis, New York, U.S., January 16, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Picture

By Daybreak Chmielewski and Sheila Dang

(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 (NASDAQ:).

“I’m excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the brand new CEO of Twitter!” Musk mentioned in a tweet on Friday. “@LindaYacc will focus totally on enterprise operations, whereas I deal with product design & new expertise.”

Since Musk acquired Twitter in October, advertisers have fled the social media platform, nervous that their adverts may seem subsequent to inappropriate content material after the corporate misplaced practically 80% of employees. Musk earlier this 12 months acknowledged that Twitter suffered a large decline in advert income.

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

“I believe (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 mentioned.

Whereas Musk mentioned Yaccarino would assist construct an “the whole lot app,” which he has beforehand mentioned may supply a wide range of companies equivalent to peer-to-peer funds, his number 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.

In an effort 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 massive hit to NBCUniversal. Final month, NBC guardian Comcast mentioned NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell (LON:) 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 12 months to inform advertisers their model messages weren’t an afterthought. She mentioned NBCUniversal integrated adverts in its Peacock streaming service from the outset.

“Twitter wants credibility with the promoting group,” mentioned 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 (NASDAQ:) Inc, accomplished his buy of Twitter in October for $44 billion. He mentioned on Friday that hiring Yaccarino would enable him to spend extra time operating Tesla.

On Thursday, Musk tweeted that he had discovered a CEO with out figuring out Yaccarino. One individual near Yaccarino mentioned Musk’s tweet might nicely have accelerated the timetable for her to hitch 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.


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