Elon Musk says he has found a new CEO for Twitter and that “she” will start in a matter of weeks. It’s most likely going to be Linda Yaccarino, the current head of advertising and partnerships for NBCUniversal.
I wish I could say with certainty that it’s her, though the deal doesn’t seem to be totally done. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that she’s “in talks” for the job, and Dylan Byers of Puck says Musk “plans” to give it to her. Unfortunately, her spokesperson is ghosting me and Twitter has resorted to responding to press inquiries with a poop emoji.
I do know, however, that Yaccarino has been angling for the job and telling friends she wants it. The advertising world is certainly gossiping that it’s her. She recently hosted Musk at her “Possible” advertising conference in Miami for a gushing interview and has been tweeting up a storm, including about how excited she is for NBC to partner with Twitter for the next Olympics.
In his tweet today, Musk said that, once his mysterious new CEO starts in about six weeks, he will “transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops.”
That means his CEO will be almost solely focused on the business, which Yaccarino is certainly qualified for. She already runs a multi-billion-dollar ads business and is well respected among the cohort of CMOs who need to be convinced to spend on the platform again. Importantly, I’m told that she and Musk also see eye to eye politically.
“She’s tough as fucking nails and she’s always wanted this job,” a former colleague says. “It’s perfect.”
If I had to guess, the reason Musk didn’t announce the name is because of unfortunate timing on Yaccarino’s end. NBCU is slated to give its annual Upfront presentation to advertisers on Monday, which Yaccarino is apparently in rehearsals for today. Awkward!
Update May 12th, 10:15AM ET: NBCU has announced that Yaccarino is leaving the company effective immediately.
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Amrita Khalid contributed reporting.
Disclosure: Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.