Update: It’s official!
(ZH) Are Twitter’s days of encouraging free speech and independent thought numbered… or is Musk, just days after unveiling that Tucker is joining, playing 4D chess?
Just hours after Elon Musk announced he had picked a new female Twitter CEO candidate, the WSJ revealed the identity of the person in talks to become the next CEO of the world’s most important social network: it is Linda Yaccarino, who is currently NBCUniversal’s influential head of advertising.
Yaccarino, who is chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCU, has been 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.
Elon Musk, Twitter’s owner, said in a tweet Thursday that he had hired a new CEO, but didn’t say who it was. “She will be starting in ~6 weeks!” Mr. Musk said in the tweet.
In some ways, Musk’s pick of Yaccarino is not a surprise: as Chair of the Advertising Council’s Board of Directors and arguably NBCU’s top advertising exec, she is meant to fill a critical void at the new Twitter: that of advertising. After all, despite having massive traffic, Musk’s social network – which as a reminder cost him $44 billion – has been hemorhaging ad revenue as woke brands have abandoned the website.
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.
As such, it will be Yaccarino’s job to convince advertisers to return: Yaccarino, who oversees roughly $13 billion in annual ad revenue, is well-known for her tight relationship with marketers and ad agencies. Yaccarino has a reputation for hard-nosed negotiating tactics, and media buyers have described her as the “velvet hammer.”
Musk’s announcement of the new CEO came days before one of the biggest events of the year for NBCU, the company’s annual pitch event for advertisers, known as the upfront, which is scheduled for Monday in New York. And according to the WSJ, an NBCU spokesman said Ms. Yaccarino is in back-to-back rehearsals for NBCU’s upfront.
On the other hand, the hiring of Yaccarino to head the social network which in recent months has become the bane of liberals and progressives through its encouragement of free speech and independent thought, both of which are despised and suppressed by the left, could be a problem.
For one, according to her LInkedIn profile, Yaccarino is the “Chairman of the WEF’s Taskforce on Future of Work and sits on the WEF’s Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry Governors Steering Committee. She is also highly engaged with the Value in Media initiative.” Most recently, she delivered the following speech in Jan 2020: ‘World Economic Forum: Creating the Workplace of the Future by Focusing on People.”
Additionally, in 2014 Yaccarino joined the Ad Council Board of Directors and became a member of the Executive Committee in 2015. She first served as Vice Chair before her appointment to Board Chair from 2021-2022.
And then there’s this: in 2021-2022, as Ad Council Chair, “Yaccarino partnered with the business community, the White House, and government agencies to create a COVID-19 vaccination campaign, featuring Pope Francis and reaching over 200 million Americans.”