In a surprising move on Thursday, Elon Musk announced that he was stepping down as CEO of Twitter and that he had appointed someone to take over from him. Less than a day later, Musk confirmed that Linda Yaccarino, the head of ad sales at NBCUniversal, had been selected for the job. Yaccarino is expected to assume the role in around six weeks.
Musk wrote that Yaccarino “will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design and new technology.” He expressed his excitement to work with her to transform the platform into “X, the everything app.” For more on X Corp, refer to this article on TechCrunch.
The news of Yaccarino’s appointment came shortly after reports that she was in talks for the position. NBCUniversal confirmed on Friday that Yaccarino would be leaving the company, which could be ill-timed as the company is set to showcase its upcoming programming slate to advertisers next week.
Under Yaccarino’s leadership, NBCUniversal has maintained a close relationship with Twitter. The two companies recently expanded their partnership for the 2024 Olympic Games, with Twitter set to host video content from the event. Yaccarino even tweeted at Musk around the same time, suggesting an idea for their new partnership: “Periscope for Paris 2024. Let’s just go hi-res first.”
Yaccarino’s appointment could help Twitter to reconcile with some of its disgruntled advertisers. Reports suggest that under Musk’s looser approach to content moderation, many of the company’s top advertisers had temporarily stopped spending ad dollars on the platform due to concerns about their ads appearing next to hate speech and misinformation.
Musk’s tenure as Twitter’s CEO has been a tumultuous one since he acquired the platform in October 2022. In the past seven months, he has made numerous sweeping changes, from firing the former leadership team and laying off thousands of employees to purging inactive accounts, including those of the deceased.
Last December, Musk conducted a poll on Twitter asking users if he should remain as CEO or bring someone else in.
A majority of 57.5% voted in favor of Musk stepping down, prompting him to promise to focus on the technical side of Twitter’s operations as soon as he could find someone to take over. With his announcement of Yaccarino’s appointment, it seems he has kept his word.
Interestingly, after Musk’s announcement, Tesla’s share price jumped up, indicating that shareholders were pleased with the news. With the company lagging behind on its goal of delivering 1.8 million vehicles this year and facing a battery production delay that could push back the Cybertruck’s launch, Musk may need to devote more attention to his other company. Rumors suggest that he may be considering stepping down as CEO of Tesla as well.