Twitter owner Elon Musk shocked the internet on Thursday when he announced that he had found a new CEO for his flailing social media company, although he didn’t reveal her identity, only her tentative start date. After a flurry of speculation, the Wall Street Journal and Puck News reported that Yaccarino was the key contender for the CEO position. Puck News went further, stating that Musk had already decided to give the NBCU executive, whose official title is chairman of global advertising and partnerships, the job.
“Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!” Musk tweeted on Thursday afternoon. “My role will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops.”
Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!
My role will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2023
Neither Musk nor Yaccarino have confirmed that she will be Twitter’s next CEO. Gizmodo reached out to Twitter’s press office for comment on Friday morning but received the typical poop emoji in response. NBCU did not immediately respond to inquiries.
According to the Journal, Yaccarino oversees about $US13 ($18) billion in annual ad revenue for NBCU, which is well-beyond the $US4 ($6) billion per year that Twitter used to bring in before Musk’s acquisition. The NBCU executive has close relationships with marketers and advertising agencies and is known for her tough negotiating skills, the Journal reported.
Yaccarino interviewed Musk last month at her “Possible” advertising conference in Miami, where he tried to encourage advertisers to come back to the platform while also warning them to stop telling him what to do.
“It’s totally cool to say that you want to have your advertising appear in certain places of Twitter and not in other places,” Musk said at the conference. “But it is not cool to say what Twitter will do. And if that means losing advertising dollars, we’ll lose them. But freedom of speech is paramount.”
Twitter’s advertising business has taken a hit since Musk took over the company last October, when he reinstated banned accounts belonging to neo-Nazis, tweeted out conspiracy theories, and laid off employees charged with moderating the platform. In the first quarter of the year, 37 of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers spent nothing on ads on the platform. Meanwhile, 24 other companies have reduced their ad spend by 80% or more, as told by the Journal. Yaccarino has apparently been telling her friends that she wants the Twitter CEO job, the Verge reported.
No matter who Twitter’s next CEO is though, the news is already proving to be a welcome relief for Tesla, Musk’s other company. Tesla shareholders have been begging Musk to pay more attention to Tesla, which provides most of his wealth, for months now. Tesla stock was up 2.10% on Friday morning.
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