Twitter has a new CEO, and it’s former NBCUniversal advertising executive Linda Yaccarino. Elon Musk announced her appointment in a tweet, saying she “will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.”
“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” Musk writes. “Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app.”
Yaccarino previously worked as chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCU, where she has been since 2011. She helped oversee the launch of NBC Peacock and advocated for the modernization of ad measurement technologies. Yaccarino is also credited with helping NBC forge “non-traditional partnerships” with companies like Apple, Snapchat, and YouTube, according to her company profile.
Rumors about Yaccarino assuming the role emerged after Musk tweeted an update on Thursday saying he hired a new CEO and said she would start in about six weeks. Musk didn’t name his new hire at the time, but media reports quickly surfaced saying Yaccarino had been in talks to become Twitter’s CEO and, on Friday morning, NBCUniversal announced she had resigned from her role.
Yaccarino interviewed Musk at the Possible advertising conference in March and tweeted about NBCU’s partnership with Twitter for the 2024 Olympics, jokingly asking to bring back Periscope. As reported by The Verge’s Alex Heath, it’s said that Yaccarino and Musk “also see eye to eye politically.”
But Yaccarino’s extensive advertising background could help repair the damaged relationships between Twitter and advertisers that left the platform following Musk’s chaotic takeover. Since acquiring Twitter last year, Musk has been desperate to find ways for the platform to make money to pay off a mountain of debt, and at one point, said that bankruptcy is a possibility. That’s part of the reason why Twitter has rolled out a revamped $8 per month Blue subscription and started charging developers to use its API.
According to Musk, Yaccarino could also help push Twitter toward its goal of becoming an “everything app” similar to WeChat, the Chinese messaging app that has evolved into a hub for payment services, food delivery, and more. Renaming Twitter as “X Corp” seems like Musk’s first step toward that goal.
Last year, Musk announced plans to replace himself as CEO after the majority of users he polled on the site voted for him to step down. Musk says he’ll still take on the role of Twitter’s chief technology officer.
Disclosure: Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.