Are Twitter’s days of encouraging free speech and independent thought numbered… or is Musk, just days after unveiling that Tucker is joining, playing 4D chess?
Just hours after Elon Musk announced he had picked a new female Twitter CEO candidate, the WSJ revealed the identity of the person in talks to become the next CEO of the world’s most important social network: it is Linda Yaccarino, who is currently NBCUniversal’s influential head of advertising.
Yaccarino, who is chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCU, has been with NBCU for more than a decade, where she has been an industry advocate for finding better ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising. As head of NBCU’s advertising sales, she was key in the launch of the company’s ad-supported Peacock streaming service.
Elon Musk, Twitter’s owner, said in a tweet Thursday that he had hired a new CEO, but didn’t say who it was. “She will be starting in ~6 weeks!” Mr. Musk said in the tweet.
In some ways, Musk’s pick of Yaccarino is not a surprise: as Chair of the Advertising Council’s Board of Directors and arguably NBCU’s top advertising exec, she is meant to fill a critical void at the new Twitter: that of advertising. After all, despite having massive traffic, Musk’s social network – which as a reminder cost him $44 billion – has been hemorhaging ad revenue as woke brands have abandoned the website.
Of the top 100 advertisers on Twitter before Mr. Musk bought the company, 37 spent nothing on Twitter advertising during the first quarter of this year, according to market-intelligence firm Sensor Tower, while an additional 24 brands reduced their average monthly Twitter ad spending by 80% or more.
As such, it will be Yaccarino’s job to convince advertisers to return: Yaccarino, who oversees roughly $13 billion in annual ad revenue, is well-known for her tight relationship with marketers and ad agencies. Yaccarino has a reputation for hard-nosed negotiating tactics, and media buyers have described her as the “velvet hammer.”
Musk’s announcement of the new CEO came days before one of the biggest events of the year for NBCU, the company’s annual pitch event for advertisers, known as the upfront, which is scheduled for Monday in New York. And according to the WSJ, an NBCU spokesman said Ms. Yaccarino is in back-to-back rehearsals for NBCU’s upfront.
On the other hand, the hiring of Yaccarino to head the social network which in recent months has become the bane of liberals and progressives through its encouragement of free speech and independent thought, both of which are despised and suppressed by the left, could be a problem.
For one, according to her LInkedIn profile, Yaccarino is the “Chairman of the WEF’s Taskforce on Future of Work and sits on the WEF’s Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry Governors Steering Committee. She is also highly engaged with the Value in Media initiative.” Most recently, she delivered the following speech in Jan 2020: ‘World Economic Forum: Creating the Workplace of the Future by Focusing on People.”
Additionally, in 2014 Yaccarino joined the Ad Council Board of Directors and became a member of the Executive Committee in 2015. She first served as Vice Chair before her appointment to Board Chair from 2021-2022.
And then there’s this: in 2021-2022, as Ad Council Chair, “Yaccarino partnered with the business community, the White House, and government agencies to create a COVID-19 vaccination campaign, featuring Pope Francis and reaching over 200 million Americans.”
Know the facts! The @AdCouncil is working to inform Americans on why we must embrace an FDA-approved #Covid vaccine and how to go about it. We're almost there, let’s cross the finish line. @lisaesherman https://t.co/AUv9tf9IFb
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) November 24, 2020
As an industry advocate, Yaccarino has called for a return to values-based, trusted partnerships, spotlighting the most important issues facing her colleagues and peers. As 2021-2022 Ad Council Chair, Yaccarino partnered with the business community, the White House, and government agencies to create a COVID-19 vaccination campaign, featuring Pope Francis and reaching over 200 million Americans. At NBCU, she uses the power of media to advance equity and helps to launch DEI-focused initiatives, including BOLD, a program for employing veterans; #ShesMy, a campaign to uplift women and girls; Scene in Color, a collaboration with Target to elevate emerging BIPOC film creatives; and a partnership with Telemundo to release a Latina-centric storytelling guide.
Yes! It’s time for action and working towards a more inclusive society. https://t.co/IMQreJ1K9P
I nominate @laura_molen @MarkMarshallNBC @joefbenarroch @OsAnsari @kknorring
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) October 21, 2020
Things get a little more complicated however, when one considers that in May 2018 Trump Named Yaccarino (alongside Bill Belichick and a bunch of other folks) to a two-year term on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition. It wasn’t immediately clear how long she lasted in this particular role.
Bottom line: despite that last rather odd detour, which can be attributed to Trump’s habitual lack of due diligence, Yaccarino appears to be the perfect establishment hire, one who will help Twitter recover most of its lost ad revenue… the trade-off may very well be that in the process twitter may just become the same company it was before its acqusition by Trump.
In response to the news of her hiring, the outcry has been – as one would imagine – extremely polarized.
The ostensible new Twitter CEO is a literal Cathedral propagandist who is an executive at NBC, the WEF, and the Ad Council creating vaccine propaganda pic.twitter.com/cngnBxSufO
— America's Conscience (@saveusculture) May 11, 2023
Please, @elonmusk, tell me you're trolling us, Linda Yaccarino!
You may as well put Rachel Maddow in charge of Twitter pic.twitter.com/jy5jNS08sq
— Vince Langman (@LangmanVince) May 12, 2023
This is reportedly the new Twitter CEO.
Pro- mask, pro-vaxx, and a participant in The World Economic Forum.
Under her Twitter, The #DiedSuddenly film would have never been allowed to see the light of day. @elonmusk if this is true- please reconsider this decision. pic.twitter.com/H9qqjdxH0f
— DiedSuddenly (@DiedSuddenly_) May 12, 2023
In Linda Yaccarino, Elon Musk gets a CEO who is a seasoned ad executive who generally shares his political leanings.
But she's also the Chairman of a World Economic Forum task force so she can comfortably liaise with Twitter's current investors and advertisers around the world.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 11, 2023
Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc), the woman who is reportedly the new CEO of Twitter, follows:
– Chaya Raichik
– Jesse Watters
– Michael Shellenberger
– Ron DeSantis
– The Babylon Bee
– Giorgia Meloni
– Maye Musk
– Vivek Ramaswamy
– Tulsi Gabbard
– Bari Weiss
— Max Berger (@maxberger) May 11, 2023
BREAKING: It appears that the new CEO of Twitter will be Linda Yaccarino, if the Wall Street Journal’s reporting is correct.
People are already unfairly attacking her for her ties to different organizations and because she follows certain accounts here on Twitter.
The new CEO… pic.twitter.com/Cm6WKRAqEy
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) May 12, 2023
It looks like Trump ally Linda Yaccarino will be taking over.
So don't expect the trolling, hate speech, disinformation or criminal acts committed on this site to stop anytime soon! https://t.co/B40PDiOtzW
— Rebekah Jones (@GeoRebekah) May 12, 2023
If true, Linda Yaccarino would be a great CEO of Twitter. She gets the ad business and understands the needs of advertisers, can talk their language (ROI/brand safety) and will speak her mind while being deferential. $TSLA @elonmusk https://t.co/qIh2ktrc4r
— Gary Black (@garyblack00) May 11, 2023
Elon Musk is reportedly in talks to bring Linda Yaccarino, “Top World Economic Forum Official,” on board as his new CEO of Twitter.
Anyone else getting major Twitter 1.0 vibes or is it just me? pic.twitter.com/yTDrUWhNPr
— Jason Jones (@jonesville) May 12, 2023
@elonmusk don't Bud Light yourself
— Dom (@brutusbrandy) May 12, 2023
Finally, the boss himself:
The commitment to open source transparency and accepting a wide range of viewpoints remains unchanged
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2023
In conclusion, while it is certainly possible that Musk is playing 4D chess here, a prevailing sentiment among the replies is that “Twitter was fun for a few months. See you guys in the gulag.” One can only hope that it is wrong.
Update: It’s official – moments ago NBC confirmed that its head of advertising is leaving the company…
NBCUniversal today announced that Linda Yaccarino is leaving the company, effective immediately. Mark Marshall, currently President, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, will become interim Chairman of NBCUniversal’s Advertising and Partnerships group, reporting to Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.
Mike Cavanagh, President of Comcast Corporation said, “We are grateful for Linda Yaccarino’s leadership of NBCUniversal’s Advertising Sales business, and for the innovative team and platform she has built. Linda has made countless contributions to the company during her twelve year tenure, and we wish her the best.”
Linda Yaccarino said, “It has been an absolute honor to be part of Comcast NBCUniversal and lead the most incredible team. We’ve transformed our company and the entire industry—and I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished together, and grateful to my colleagues and mentors, especially Brian Roberts, Mike Cavanagh and the entire NBCU leadership team.”
Mark Lazarus was named Chairman, NBCUniversal Telvision and Streaming in May
Musk has finally tweeted to confirm her position, noting that Yaccarino will focus primarily on business operations, while he will focus on product design & new technology
I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!@LindaYacc will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.
Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app. https://t.co/TiSJtTWuky
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2023
Paul Joseph Watson breaks down the two sides’ view on this hire…
I was planning to get on Twatter when I heard that Tucker was going to be there; however, I don’t trust a single person that has ties to the WEF!!! So sorry Twatter, I won’t be back.