Linda Yaccarino says she's inspired by "provocative leadership." Elon Musk's Twitter fits the bill

Linda Yaccarino is an avid Twitter user.
Linda Yaccarino is an avid Twitter user.

NBCUniversal announced on Friday (May 12) Linda Yaccarino will be leaving her role as chairman of global advertising and partnerships, amid multiple reports that she is in advanced negotiations to succeed Elon Musk as Twitter CEO.

Musk first announced he had found his replacement as CEO late Thursday (May 11). His tweet did not identify the person, but indicated “she will be starting in ~6 weeks!” Musk also confirmed that he would stay on as chief technical officer and executive chairman, as well as continuing to play a central role in the site’s development.

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Yaccarino confirmed her departure from NBC in a prepared statement: “It has been an absolute honor to be part of Comcast NBCUniversal and lead the most incredible team. We’ve transformed our company and the entire industry—and I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished together.”

Who is Linda Yaccarino?

Yaccarino is a veteran of the advertising industry, having served as Turner’s executive vice president of advertising sales, marketing, and acquisitions before joining NBC. In her profile on NBC’s website, which has been taken offline since the announcement of her departure, Yaccarino was credited with developing NBC’s ad-supported streaming platforms and generating more than $100 billion in advertising sales.

She is also active on Twitter, which she first joined in 2012. Her bio on the social media platform reads that she is “inspired by provocative leadership,” something that will likely be a positive given Musk’s divisive tenure as Twitter’s head.

Her exit marks another high-level departure from the network. Last month, Jeff Shell— NBCUniversal’s former CEO—stepped down following a probe into an inappropriate relationship with a colleague.

Twitter’s communications department was not available for comment on any potential hiring of a new CEO.

By the digits: Musk’s tenure as CEO

56%: Estimated decline in Twitter’s value since Musk took over, according to reports from March

6,300: Number of employees Musk has laid off from the company since November, a cut of roughly 80% of employees

28%: Estimated decline in Twitter’s ad revenue in 2023, or a drop from $4.1 billion to $2.98 billion

25,800: Number of tweets Musk has posted from his account so far, including 13 tweets in the past day

Musk steps down five months after losing a Twitter poll

Musk initially promised he would find a replacement CEO after losing a poll that asked if he should step down from the role in December. More than 17.5 million voted, with 57.5% saying he give up the position.

Now, despite his impending departure, Musk is expected to continue exerting influence on Twitter. He has confirmed he will still oversee product and software development as well as systems operations. It is also possible Musk wants to have someone else run the site while he works on plans to turn Twitter into an “everything app.”

Musk also remains the CEO of Tesla, which has seen declining profits amid broad price cuts for the fleet of electric vehicles, likely spurred by increased competition in the industry.

The auto manufacturing company has also faced criticism about its autopilot system, a toxic work environment, and Musk’s divided attention with Twitter, including a letter from shareholders that accused Musk of operating “above the law.” Tesla shares rose on the news that Musk found someone else to take Twitter’s helm.

Related stories:

🙃 Elon Musk makes it sound like being Twitter CEO is the worst job in the world

💡 Who should be Twitter’s next CEO? Your best (and worst) ideas

🤖 Elon Musk confirmed he’s building an AI to counter ChatGPT

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