Elon Musk appointed Linda Yaccarino, a seasoned media executive, as Twitter’s new CEO on Friday, breaking his commitment to resign from the position months earlier.
I’m pleased to welcome Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s new CEO. On Friday, Musk stated in a tweet. He stated that she “will primarily focus on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.”
Yaccarino made her resignation from her position as chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal public earlier in the day.
In a statement released on Friday, she said: “It has been an amazing privilege to be a member of Comcast NBCUniversal and manage the most incredible team. “We’ve changed our business and the industry as a whole.”
As CEO, Yaccarino will deal with a long list of difficulties that accumulated while Musk owned the company, including an exodus of advertisers, service problems, regulatory scrutiny, and an expanding number of competitors. Some devoted Twitter users have become enraged by Musk’s questionable policy changes and pronouncements.
Musk will probably still have a lot of influence on the company’s future course even after stepping down as CEO. Musk earlier declared that he would hold the positions of executive chairman, chief technology officer, and platform owner.
Experienced media executive Musk has argued with major media organizations and declared his hatred of advertising. Yaccarino, though, stands for both of those worlds.
Yaccarino has worked with NBCUniversal for over 11 years; she started out there as a college intern. She had previously served as Turner Broadcasting’s executive vice president/chief operating officer for advertising sales, marketing, and acquisitions, which at the time included CNN.
According to her company page, she is in charge of a 2,000-person worldwide team at NBCUniversal. That would mean that she has more team members than there are still employed at Twitter, which Musk said in an interview with the BBC last month that there are just 1,500 of after numerous layoffs under his direction.
According to her profile, NBCUniversal’s ad sales team has established connections with numerous new media businesses, including Twitter as well as Apple News, Buzzfeed, Snapchat, and YouTube, and has produced $100 billion in ad sales since she joined in 2011.She made an appearance with Musk at a business conference last month for a panel discussion titled “Twitter 2.0: From Conversations to Partnerships.”
The creation of cohesive ad sales teams at NBCUniversal, as opposed to 15 separate sales teams contacting the same sponsors, is Yaccarino’s most noteworthy accomplishment.
She described the consolidation in an interview with Salesforce by saying, “We were difficult to do business with.
Yaccarino’s departure occurs at a horrible time for NBCUniversal. The media industry’s ad sales are declining, which has forced many businesses to slash expenses and even lay off employees in some situations. Although not as severe as some of its competitors, NBCUniversal has also experienced some job layoffs.
In an effort to secure ad commitments for later this year, media organizations, including NBC, are set to make “upfront” pitches to advertisers next week. The NBC meeting is scheduled for Monday morning.
Yaccarino wouldn’t be the first or the first female CEO of one of Musk’s businesses.
Gwynne Shotwell was originally chosen by Musk to lead SpaceX. He serves as the company’s CEO, and she serves as president and COO. But some in the business give her credit for helping SpaceX become the most prosperous commercial rocket firm in the world.
Tesla’s chairperson is also none other than Robyn Denholm. When Musk was forced by the SEC to resign from his position as CEO following a tweet in which he falsely claimed to have secured funding to take the firm private, she took over his job.
In contrast to Musk and 15 other Tesla officials who spoke during an investor day earlier this year, Denholm has maintained a low profile at Tesla.
Twitter’s exodus of advertisers
The selection of Yaccarino might be a sign that Musk is beginning to see the limits of his efforts to reduce Twitter’s reliance on advertising.
Before Musk bought the business in October, more than 90% of the company’s revenue came from advertising revenues. But since then, a lot of sponsors have left the website.
Based on data until January 25, digital marketing monitoring company Pathmatics by Sensor Tower earlier this year revealed that 625 of the top 1,000 Twitter advertisers, including well-known companies like Coca-Cola, Unilever, Jeep, Wells Fargo, and Merck, had removed their ad budgets. From October through January 25, the prior top 1,000 marketers’ monthly income fell by more than 60%, from about $127 million to just over $48 million.
Musk’s drastic staff reductions, the apparent surge in hate speech, and contentious policy decisions, like as his decision to allow previously banned Twitter users back, have alarmed many advertisers.
General Motors announced that it would stop spending money on Twitter advertising while it assesses the service’s “new direction.” The departure, according to Musk, was caused by “activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation.”
With limited success, Musk has attempted to boost revenue by rushing to strengthen its subscription business and charging for the blue checkmarks that confirm a user’s identification. He may therefore be forced to strengthen Twitter’s primary advertising business and rekindle its connections with sponsors.
Musk has previously discussed increasing ad sales by emphasizing the relevancy of its advertisements.
Search pressure for a new Twitter CEO
The value of Tesla (TSLA) has declined ever since he initially said he wanted to buy Twitter. Investors were concerned that his obsession with Twitter was diverting him from the difficulties the electric automobile was having.
A short time before Tuesday’s annual shareholder meeting of Tesla, Musk disclosed the CEO news.
When his original purchase of a 9% investment in Twitter was made public 13 months ago, Tesla stock finished Thursday down 55% from that point. Just after the opening bell on Friday, shares of Tesla were up 3% before giving back the majority of that gain.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives stated in a letter to investors on Friday that “we believe Musk leaving CEO of Twitter earlier than originally thought… is a positive development for Tesla as well as SpaceX with Musk needing to spend more and more time on these golden child platforms rather than Twitter.”
Additionally, it might be good news for Twitter users. Last October, after 57% of respondents to a poll Musk ran on Twitter voted that he should resign from his position as CEO, Musk pledged that he would appoint a new CEO to lead Twitter. He promised in December to appoint a replacement “as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!”