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Linda Yaccarino is Elon Musk’s pick to become the next CEO of Twitter: Report

By Jimmy Adeel
|
May 12, 2023

Linda Yaccarino, the long-standing head of advertising at NBCUniversal, is reportedly in discussions to become Twitter's new CEO. These reports emerged shortly after Tesla's CEO Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter in 2022, announced he had appointed a woman for the top role but did not disclose her identity.

Yaccarino's career at NBCUniversal spans over a decade, where she currently holds the chair of global advertising and partnerships position, as the Wall Street Journal reported. Her potential departure to Twitter could mark a significant shift in leadership for both companies.

Musk announced the incoming CEO via Twitter, stating, "Excited to announce that I've a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!" He also mentioned his role would transition to the executive chair and chief technology officer, overseeing product, software, and system operations.

Since Musk's takeover of Twitter, he has made drastic changes, including reducing the workforce by approximately 70%, which involved a complete overhaul of the executive team. His announcement of a new CEO, however, has not disclosed any further details about her identity.

Yaccarino's Contributions at NBCUniversal and Investor's Response to the News

Yaccarino has been instrumental in NBCUniversal's initiatives for more effective advertising. She played a significant role in launching NBCU's ad-supported streaming service, Peacock. However, neither Yaccarino nor Musk has commented on the recent reports about her potential move to Twitter.

In response to Musk's announcement about the new CEO, Tesla's shares jumped by more than 2%, indicating investor approval of the transition, the Daily Mail reported.

In April, a group of shareholders publicly urged the board to ensure Musk dedicated more time to the company. They expressed concerns about governance and leadership issues, possibly prompting Musk to delegate the CEO role.

Musk's Controversial Reign at Twitter and Future Plans

Since Musk acquired Twitter in October 2022, his leadership has been met with various controversies. He introduced changes like the Twitter Blue subscription and reinstated previously banned users, eliciting widespread backlash.

He also made significant layoffs to cut costs and attempted to boost the platform's revenue through the site's subscription feature. Under this new model, users had to pay an $8 monthly fee for account verification and the platform's signature blue tick, which was previously reserved for notable figures such as politicians, celebrities, and journalists.

In a surprising move, Twitter partially reversed its new model by reinstating some legacy accounts, including those of LeBron James and William Shatner. The company also experienced a significant user outage in February, leading to a public apology.

New Features, Pledges, and Rejections: Musk's Journey at Twitter

Recently, Musk announced a new encrypted messaging privacy feature as part of Twitter's goal to become the "most trusted platform on the internet". However, he also warned users not to fully trust this feature yet, stating it was "not quite there yet".

This announcement came after Musk's pledge in December to step down as Twitter's head when he found someone "foolish enough to take the job".

Another development was the recent claim by former Fox host Tucker Carlson, stating he planned to relaunch his show on Twitter. However, Musk denied signing any special agreement with Carlson, emphasizing that all content creators on the platform were subject to the same rules.

Carlson had posted a video on his Twitter page announcing his return, criticizing the mainstream media and warning that anyone trying to tell the truth, would be fired. In response, Musk tweeted, "I also want to be clear that we have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever. Tucker is subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators."

Musk's Vision for Twitter: A Platform for All Voices

Musk outlined that the 'rewards' Carlson referred to included subscriptions and advertising revenue share, which depended on subscription numbers and advertising views associated with the content.

Musk also expressed his hopes that many others, especially those from the independent journalism sector, would follow Carlson's example and join the platform. This vision aligns with Musk's plans to create a more open and diverse platform that encourages freedom of speech and diverse content creation.

As this new chapter in Twitter's leadership unfolds, the world watches anxiously. Will Yaccarino take the helm, and how will Twitter evolve under new leadership? Only time will tell.