Linda Yaccarino is the new CEO of Twitter

Linda Yaccarino is the new CEO of Twitter

Six months after buying Twitter, Elon Musk has appointed Linda Yaccarino, an American media and advertising figure, to head the social network that he has wrested from its employees and advertisers but will still retain control of.

• Also read: Twitter wants to offer audio and video calls from the platform

• Also read: Twitter will delete all inactive accounts

• Also read: The Twitter co-founder’s new social network Bluesky is enjoying increasing popularity

“I am delighted to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” he said on his platform on Friday. “She will mainly focus on business while I will focus on product design and new technologies.”

Twitter’s majority shareholder announced the day before that he had hired a woman to lead the company, specifying his new role: “Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Technology Officer to oversee products, software and operations.”

Earlier Friday, NBCUniversal announced that Linda Yaccarino had resigned as PR director.

During her 12 years at this subsidiary of cable operator Comcast, she helped unify all of the group’s media onto a single advertising platform to simplify the offering for advertisers.

With a career spanning more than 30 years in television advertising, she should bring social media experience but also an address book at a time when Twitter is suffering from brand withdrawal.

“Someone Crazy Enough”

A few weeks ago, she interviewed the head of Tesla and SpaceX at a marketing conference in Miami.

“The people in this room represent your path to profitability, but many are skeptical,” she had told him, pointing to the advertiser floor.

“What?!” joked Elon Musk. “He’s not aware of it. The guy works in space. He hasn’t heard what’s going on here,” she continued in the same tone.

Since the billionaire took over Twitter in October, many advertisers have left the platform, angered by Hussar management.

In particular, he laid off more than two-thirds of the staff, allowed controversial figures who had been banned from the network to return to the network, and messed up the account authentication system.

In December, he asked users of the platform in a survey whether he should give up his place to someone or not. About 17 million of them had spoken out, including 57% in favor of his departure.

After some hesitation, Elon Musk finally tweeted that he plans to leave as soon as he “finds someone crazy enough” to succeed him.

Not all of his supporters, often on the right, welcomed the appointment of a figure from America’s elite to take charge of the World Economic Forum. Conservative website OutKick described her as a “vaccine advocate and mask-wearing globalist.”

But for analyst Jasmine Enberg, the opposite is true: “Yaccarino is exactly what Twitter needs to win back advertisers’ trust and bring back the big brands. She will also bring back the professionalism lost under Musk.”

“Weird and Unpredictable”

But the task won’t be easy, the Insider Intelligence expert points out, especially when it comes to moderating content, which is more complicated online than on more “predictable” TV channels. “His ability to change things on Twitter will depend largely on Musk and the power he bestows on him. Both have a good relationship, but he is moody and unpredictable.

Linda Yaccarino “deserves our sympathy and pity,” commented independent analyst Rob Enderle. “It will not be easy to fix a company that has been so damaged by its leader.”

Last month, Elon Musk renamed the San Francisco-based company, founded in 2006, to “X Corp.” He regularly speaks about his nebulous project to make Twitter a multifaceted application with financial services like WeChat in China.

“I look forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the all-around app,” he said Friday.

According to Insider Intelligence, Twitter is expected to make less than $3 billion in 2023, almost a third less than in 2022.

According to an internal document consulted by several American media outlets, the multi-billionaire valued Twitter at $20 billion at the end of March, up from $44 billion at the time of the acquisition. But “it looks like we’ll break even in Q2 2023,” he tweeted.

“You have a huge platform, you have a vision with a spectrum of daily and open conversations. Users who can run their lives and businesses. But there should be a tremendous opportunity for publicity in the middle,” stressed Linda Yaccarino in Miami.