Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Linda Yaccarino is officially on the job as Twitter CEO

Incoming Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino started her new gig on Monday, according to a tweet.

“It happened — first day in the books!” she wrote. “Stay tuned…”

Twitter owner Elon Musk announced in mid-May that he had hired a new CEO. Just days later, Yaccarino resigned from NBCUniversal, where she had been the chairman of its advertising and partnerships group; Musk then confirmed that the ad exec was his new CEO pick.

It seems that Yaccarino is starting earlier than anticipated, though. When Musk announced that he had found a new CEO, he said that she would start in about six weeks… but it’s only been three weeks. Yaccarino’s exit from NBCUniversal, where she worked for nearly 12 years, seemed abrupt. Her resignation came just days before the company’s upfront presentation, a key event for advertisers.

Assuming that CEOs get a bit of a pass when it comes to generic onboarding tasks, Yaccarino’s first day at Twitter seemed like an eventful one. On Monday, Musk hosted a live audio Space with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine activist who is running a long-shot campaign against President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary. The chat went a bit more smoothly than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign announcement, which was riddled with technical difficulties. However, during this event — which Twitter says peaked at around 60,000 listeners — Kennedy claimed that pharmaceutical drugs like Prozac were responsible for school shootings and asserted that the pharmaceutical industry was controlling the Democratic party.

During this conversation with Kennedy, Musk said that Twitter has lost more than half of its ad revenue since he officially took over in October. But on her own Twitter account, Yaccarino seems supportive of Musk’s mission to support “free speech” at all costs, even if it might make advertisers skittish.

“Tonight’s reflection — we just heard a rare and unscripted conversation, on a range of important topics, with a Presidential candidate — all launched on Twitter,” she tweeted after DeSantis’ Twitter Space. “That’s historical. Let’s do more. Freedom of speech is priceless.”

Linda Yaccarino is officially on the job as Twitter CEO by Amanda Silberling originally published on TechCrunch

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