Who is Linda Yaccarino, Elon Musk’s choice for new Twitter CEO?

Twitter owner Elon Musk confirmed that NBCUniversal executive Linda Yaccarino will take over as Twitter's chief executive officer (CEO), stating that he would now shift into a new role as chief technologist.

Yaccarino last month interviewed Musk at a marketing conference in Miami.
Yaccarino (right) last month interviewed Musk at a marketing conference in Miami. Photo courtesy: NBCUniversal

"I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter! She will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design and new technology. Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app," Musk tweeted.

Earlier, he had shared that the company's new CEO will start in about six weeks, without naming the individual. 

NBCUniversal also announced Yaccarino's departure from the company.

"We are grateful for Linda Yaccarino's leadership of NBCUniversal's Advertising Sales business, and for the innovative team and platform she has built," Comcast president Mike Cavanagh said in a statement. "Linda has made countless contributions to the company during her twelve year tenure, and we wish her the best."

Yaccarino, as head of NBCU's advertising sales, was key in the launch of the company's ad-supported Peacock streaming service. She is an alumna of Penn State University, having studied liberal arts and telecommunications.

Musk bought Twitter for USD 44 billion last October and indicated that he'd only be in charge for a limited time to complete the organisational overhaul he thought the company needed to prosper. 

Musk complained of having "too much work" and sleeping at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters while implementing radical changes. 

In December, Musk asked his Twitter followers if he should step down as CEO, and 57.5% said yes. 

Musk, who's also CEO of Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has drawn criticism for his abrupt policy changes at Twitter and neglect of his other businesses. He's also changed the corporate name of Twitter's parent to X Holdings, an entity that could eventually be the parent for all his businesses – an idea he has publicly mused about. 

The next CEO will have to deal with the fallout from his ownership, including an advertiser exodus. Despite a slight uptick in daily users since early 2022, Twitter's revenue has fallen by 50% since October as a result of a "massive decline" in advertising, Musk said in March.

The company's Twitter Blue subscription service plan has also been flailing, drawing less than 1% of the user base. Musk has cut thousands of jobs, scaled back the company's content moderation and allowed accounts previously banned for breaking rules to return.

Musk already has a friendly relationship with Yaccarino, who interviewed him last month at a major advertising conference in Miami, and called him "friend" and "buddy" on stage.