Linda Yaccarino began her job as Twitter Inc. chief executive today, reportedly much earlier than expected.
Prior to taking the post, Yaccarino had worked for four years as head of NBCUniversal Media LLC’s advertising and partnership team. Back in December, Musk polled Twitter users, asking them if he should stay or go, and 57.5% said he should go. That he did, later explaining he’d like to hire a new CEO so he can concentrate on Tesla Inc. and other ventures.
It took five months to find a suitable replacement for a job that no doubt will not be easy in the slightest. Musk was under pressure from shareholders in Tesla, who were disgruntled with the floundering Tesla share price.
The question is: Will Yaccarino be able to save Twitter? She has been described as an advertising “superwoman” in the past, and it’s likely that politically she will not be as polarizing as Musk, despite her support of him. “I’ve long been inspired by your vision to create a brighter future,” she tweeted after she landed the role at Twitter. “I’m excited to help bring this vision to Twitter and transform this business together!”
She joins Twitter at an uncertain time in an era for the social media company that has been the embodiment of the proverbial bumpy ride. Today it was announced that Twitter’s ad sales had dropped a massive 59%, with internal forecasts stating that things were not going to improve much anytime soon.
Advertisers may return with Musk mostly out of the picture. His volatility and attitude to free speech are controversial, yet for others, allowing journalists to publish the so-called Twitter Files gained him some credit. In a Twitter audio event today, Musk said advertisers had left in droves, which he said amounted to trying to “drive Twitter bankrupt.”
Yaccarino apparently has a plan to put Twitter back on solid ground. The company recently announced it has hired Joe Benarroch, also from NBCUniversal. He was the senior vice president of communications, advertising and partnerships. Before that, he worked for Meta Platforms Inc. Today, he tweeted, “I am looking forward to bringing my experience to Twitter and to working with the entire team to build Twitter 2.0 together.”
Twitter has some chance of coming through these difficulties with shining colors, but right now, the ship is definitely taking on water. Musk, who will continue as executive chairman and chief technology officer, will be hoping his new team can plug the leak.
Photo: Alexander Shatov/Unsplash
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