NBCUniversal confirms Linda Yaccarinos exit amid reports she will be

NBCUniversal confirms Linda Yaccarino’s exit amid reports she will be Twitter’s next CEO – update – Deadline

NBCUniversal confirms Linda Yaccarinos exit amid reports she will be

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for The Female Quotient

TO UPDATE: NBCUniversal confirmed that distribution chief Linda Yaccarino is leaving the company and reported that she is set to become Twitter’s new CEO.

Mark Marshall, currently president of advertising sales and customer partnerships, will become interim chairman of NBCU’s advertising and partnerships group. He reports to Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.

Comcast President Mike Cavanaugh said, “We are grateful to Linda Yaccarino for leading NBCUniversal’s advertising distribution business and for the innovative team and platform she has built.”

Yaccarino has been with the company for 12 years.

Elon Musk announced on Thursday that he would hand over the reins as CEO to an unnamed person. That immediately sparked speculation about his successor, and hours later, The Wall Street Journal reported that Yaccarino had been tapped for the job.

BEFORE, May 11: In what may have been a seismic shift on the eve of its first airing, it was revealed Thursday night that NBCUniversal’s sales director, Linda Yaccarino, is reportedly in talks about becoming Twitter’s new CEO.

The Wall Street Journal’s Thursday night report of the hiring caused a stir and sparked displeasure with the timing. On Monday morning, Yaccarino is scheduled to roam the Radio City Music Hall stage and present her pitch to over 4,000 ad buyers. Instead, one of the biggest media companies is grappling with its third major crisis in the last two weeks after CEO Jeff Shell abruptly quit and the writers’ strike began.

Sources who initially reached Deadline were generally stunned, to say the least, although there may have been an important sign last month when Yaccarino and Musk appeared together in a policy talk at a conference in Miami. NBCU and Twitter shortly thereafter announced a major renewal of their advertising partnership around the Olympics. That announcement was greeted with bouquets of flowers from NBCU, a contrast to the views of many advertisers and media agency executives in recent months, who have been skeptical of the legitimacy of Twitter under Musk.

When Deadline contacted him Thursday night about the possible news, Yaccarino’s chief NBCU communications officer simply replied that “Linda is back-to-back at rehearsals for Upfront.” Twitter’s communications apparatus has been dismantled since Musk’s $44 billion acquisition. The press’s official email address for general inquiries was recently set to automatically reply with a poop emoji.

Musk is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and took the title on Twitter, although he describes himself as Chief Twit. He also polled his 139 million followers on whether he should step down as CEO of the social media company (verdict: yes).

As a new company emerged from a tumultuous beginning to its new ownership era, advertising quickly became one of the company’s greatest pain points. Musk has fired most of the company’s employees and eliminated content that many brands find offensive. While Musk has attempted to generate revenue through subscriptions like Twitter Blue and his infamous blue tick, it didn’t initially gain much traction. The handling of the verification plan (previously Twitter internally determined which users were legitimate) was so thoroughly botched that scammers were able to pose as large corporations. Drugmaker Eli Lilly’s stock plummeted after a tweet from a handle with a fake blue check and company logo jokingly claimed that insulin drugs were being made available free of charge.

While Musk claimed that paid subscriptions would help give users a less cluttered experience and eliminate bots, advertising remains core to the business. At the time of the acquisition, Twitter made more than 90% of its money from advertising.

Yaccarino, a 12-year veteran at NBCU and before that at the stations formerly flying the Turner banner, has earned credibility in industry circles for her assertiveness and, when the situation calls for it, her fighting spirit. She was an early and vocal critic of Nielsen, which is a common attitude today, but was also willing to publicly question the viability of YouTube, Google, and Facebook for top-tier advertisers at a time when they used to make 80 cents from each They also spook advertisers by placing their messages alongside inappropriate videos that circulate freely on the platform.

The Yaccarino report comes after Musk tweeted earlier Thursday that he was “very pleased to announce that I have a new CEO for

“It will start in about 6 weeks!” Musk wrote, adding, “My role will change to CEO and CTO, overseeing the products, software and sysops.” crescendo of the media ad sales calendar as the TV season wraps up, advance notices announce next season and a growing number of executives then depart for Cannes Lions in June.)

Musk said in December he would step down as CEO as soon as he found someone “dumb enough to take the job.” This comes after Musk, who acquired the social media giant for $44 billion, vowed to heed the result of a Twitter poll asking users if he should step down. More than 57% voted yes.

Yaccarino, who has been with NBCU since 2011, is currently Chairman of Global Advertising and Partnerships for the Comcast division. According to her bio, she is responsible for all global, national and local ad sales, partnerships, marketing, ad technology, data, measurement and strategic initiatives showing that she and her team have generated over $100 billion in ad sales generated dollars.

— Ted Johnson contributed to this report.