Elon Musk finally finds 'someone foolish enough to take the job' of Twitter CEO
Though we're not sure NBCUniversal ad exec Linda Yaccarino appreciates the description
Opinion Tesla investors have been huffing and puffing about how CEO Elon Musk is "too distracted" by his latest plaything for some time now, and it looks like a new Chief Twit has been found to throw under the Cybertruck.
Musk made the announcement on Twitter that there was a new boss in town yesterday, saying "She will be starting in ~6 weeks!" and that he'd be stepping back into an exec chair and CTO role, "overseeing product, software & sysops" – all things Musk is an expert in.
To the likely disappointment of Musk's hordes of parasocial sycophants and yes-men, it won't be a female version of himself, but Linda Yaccarino, says the Wall Street Journal, citing its favorite source – "people familiar with the situation." Incidentally, The New York Times has been chatting to "two people with knowledge of the matter" who agree.
Who is she? NBCUniversal's head of advertising for more than 10 years, apparently, and an "industry advocate for finding better ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising," the WSJ says. "As head of NBCU's advertising sales, she was key in the launch of the company's ad-supported Peacock streaming service."
Among Musk's litany of self-imposed Twitter woes, advertising has been the killer. Corporate clients hit the brakes on ad spending after the October takeover went through, unsure of where "free speech absolutist" Musk would lead the platform, and revenue accordingly dropped 40 percent in December compared with the prior year. Pretty catastrophic for a company where advertising accounted for 90 percent of earnings in 2021, hence why subscription services like Twitter Blue and other means of parting users from their money were haphazardly set in motion.
- Musk decides to bury dead Twitter accounts, warns users follower counts could sink
- Twitter admits 'security incident' made private Circles not so much
- Twitter's API paywall crumbles (but only for those saving lives, predicting weather, etc.)
Yaccarino, though, is known for managing $13 billion in annual ad revenue, her close relationships with marketers and agencies, and "hard-nosed negotiating tactics," which have earned her the honorific "velvet hammer." So is Musk buying a new CEO, someone with advertising connections, or is he actually trying to buy clients?
Whether they could be tempted over is moot. I don't know about you folks, but I came back to Twitter to watch the airship crash, and the algorithm has never seemed more violent, racist, crass, and entertaining.
Does Yaccarino, who by all accounts appears to be a very successful exec, really want multimedia 4chan on her CV? I mean, I love watching people punch each other's lights out as much as the next guy, but then again Musk did say he'd resign as soon as he found "someone foolish enough to take the job."
We asked Twitter to comment and got the ol' poop emoji. Maybe that'll improve after the changing of the guard, if it ever happens.
Tesla's stock closed 2 percent up and continued to climb in after-hours trading following the news. ®
PS: That encrypted DM feature Twitter talked up this week turned out to be pretty useless. See our update here.