Elon Musk has named former NBCUniversal advertising chief Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s new chief executive, as the company tries to reverse a plunge in ad revenue.
Yaccarino will take over a social media platform beset with challenges and a heavy debt load, after she spent several years modernising the advertising business at NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast.
“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” Musk said in a tweet yesterday. “@LindaYacc will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.”
Since Musk acquired Twitter in October, advertisers have fled the social media platform, worried that their adverts could appear next to inappropriate content after the company lost nearly 80 per cent of staff. Musk earlier this year acknowledged that Twitter suffered a massive decline in advert revenue.
Twitter’s “trajectory will immediately take a 180-degree turn” under her leadership, said Lou Paskalis, a long-time advert industry executive and CEO of AJL Advisory, a marketing consultancy.
“I think (Yaccarino) has climbed every mountain she could at NBCU and did it impeccably well. And there’s no greater challenge than restoring order at Twitter,” he said.
While Musk said Yaccarino would help build an “everything app,” which he has previously said could offer a variety of services such as peer-to-peer payments, his selection of an advertising veteran signalled that digital adverts would continue to be a core focus of the business.