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Business Leader of the Week: Meet Linda Yaccarino, Twitter’s new CEO

IFM_Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino
According to Forbes, Linda Yaccarino's annual net worth is around USD 40 Million Dollars as of January 2023

Twitter Inc, a subsidiary of X Holdings Inc, is a social networking platform where people can create and share ideas. The company’s operations span North America, Asia Pacific, Oceania, Europe and Africa. Twitter is headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA.

The micro-blogging platform was founded in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams. In 2012, more than 100 million users were tweeting 340 million tweets daily, and the service processed an average of 1.6 billion searches per day. The company went public in November 2013 and by the year 2019, Twitter had more than 330 million monthly active users.

In 2022, Twitter agreed to a USD 44 billion buyout by Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, in one of the biggest deals ever to take a company private. From July to September that year, Twitter hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, as Elon Musk initially cancelled the deal, then got dragged to the court by the then leadership of the micro-blogging platform.

In October 2022, Elon Musk finally gave his nod for the USD 44 billion deal. As soon as he took over the company, he fired the micro-blogging platform’s CEO Parag Agarwal, head of legal policy, trust and safety Vijaya Gadde and Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal.

After the leadership change, Twitter has been regularly criticized for an increase in hate speech. His takeover of the company was marked by sweeping policy changes, mass layoffs, resignations, mounting losses, frequent technical glitches, declining brand value and a dramatic shift in the company’s work culture. Twitter also got merged into X Holdings and Twitter was no longer an independent company but part of X Corp.

As the micro-blogging platform saw its ‘Twitter Blue’ initiative backfiring horribly, Elon Musk was frank enough to admit that the pain level of Twitter has been “extremely high”, and that owning the micro-blogging platform hasn’t been “some sort of party” for him. Also, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO getting too involved in the social media platform’s daily administration worried the stakeholders of his other ventures.

Elon Musk has now appointed Linda Yaccarino as the new Twitter CEO, while planning to maintain his firm grip over the social media platform’s leadership ranks. He said that Linda Yaccarino, an American media executive, would start in the next six weeks.

    Who Is Linda Yaccarino?

  • Linda Yaccarino, of Italian descent, was born and brought up in Deer Park, New York, USA
  • She completed her graduation from Pennsylvania State University’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications in 1985
  • Following her graduation, Linda Yaccarino worked with Turner Entertainment for 15 years, becoming executive vice-president and chief operating officer of ad sales where she played a key role in developing innovative advertising and marketing solutions
  • In 2011, she joined NBCUniversal as the head of the company’s advertising sales. She played a key role in the launch of Peacock streaming service
  • In 2014, Linda Yaccarino took up an offer from the Ad Council, an American non-profit organization that produces, distributes, and promotes public service announcements
  • In 2018, former US President Donald Trump appointed her to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition
  • In 2021, Linda Yaccarino became Chairman of the Ad Council’s board of directors till June 2022, where she partnered with the Biden administration to create a coronavirus vaccine campaign
  • The same year, she also chaired the future of work task force for the World Economic Forum
  • On 12 May 2023, Linda Yaccarino resigned from NBCUniversal and on the same day Elon Musk announced that she would be the new Chief Executive Officer of X Corp. and Twitter
  • According to Forbes, Linda Yaccarino’s annual net worth is around USD 40 Million Dollars as of January 2023

Linda Yaccarino Would Focus On Business Operations

Joe Marchese, the former head of ad sales at the Fox Networks Group, who has known Linda Yaccarino for at least a decade said that by electing her, Elon Musk is signalling what has priority for him on Twitter: The advertising business and not the social media know-how.

Linda Yaccarino has been one of Madison Avenue’s power brokers for decades. And Twitter, which derives the bulk of its revenue from advertising, has struggled to grow that business, particularly after Elon Musk spooked advertisers in 2022 with the micro-blogging platform’s takeover. A lion’s share of the industrial biggies left the platform immediately, expressing concern about the rise in hate speech content on Twitter. Even though the billionaire claimed in his recent BBC interview that the advertisers were returning to Twitter, the tale of the micro-blogging platform’s financial struggles is not over yet.

In an interview with New York Times, Joe Marchese said, “Linda’s a force. She has one of the biggest jobs in advertising, and the ad market is as hard as it has ever been.”

He also said, above all, Linda Yaccarino has to contend with Elon Musk as he is a moody and unpredictable boss. The 51-year-old billionaire has a track record of firing executives who don’t meet his goals. Sometimes, without warning, he tweets news about his various businesses, which include electric car maker Tesla.

Meanwhile, Lou Paskalis, a longtime ad executive and friend of Yaccarino, likened her move to Twitter to take a “step into the lion’s mouth.”

“With her stature in the industry as probably one of the most beloved and trusted people on the revenue side, I question why she would subject herself to that kind of potential reputational risk,” he said.

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