Who is the new Twitter CEO? Linda Yaccarino's NBCUniversal role explained - is Elon Musk standing down?

The billionaire has said new hire Linda Yaccarino will start work in around six weeks' time
Linda Yaccarino will be Twitter's new CEO (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for The Female Quotient )Linda Yaccarino will be Twitter's new CEO (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for The Female Quotient )
Linda Yaccarino will be Twitter's new CEO (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for The Female Quotient )

Elon Musk has announced that the new CEO he has hired to lead social media site Twitter is former NBCUniversal ad chief Linda Yaccarino.

The billionaire businessman tweeted on Friday afternoon he was excited to welcome Yaccarino, who will "focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology". He said he was looking forward to working with her, to transform the platform into "X, the everything app".

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Musk first tweeted on Thursday that he had hired a then-unnamed woman as CEO, who would take over in about six weeks.

He wrote: “Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO (chief executive officer) for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!” The billionaire did not specify who would be taking over the struggling social media company, and has previously made grand statements that never came to pass.

San Francisco-based Twitter was renamed as X Corp, according to Musk and court filings revealing a merger of the technology companies. Before purchasing the Twitter platform in October for 44 billion US dollars (£35.7 billion), the entrepreneur declared his intentions to transform it into "X, the everything app." Here is everything you need to know about it.

Why is Elon Musk stepping down as CEO?

Musk has stated his position will transition to executive chairman and chief technology officer, with responsibility for managing product, software and sysops - short for "Systems Operations". It comes after a tweet in December, only a few weeks after his takeover, in which Musk said: “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job.”

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That tweet came after a Twitter vote Musk created and agreed to follow, in which millions of Twitter followers suggested he should resign.

Musk has had a tumultuous start to his journey at the platform, and has admitted that by firing nearly 80% of the platform's 8,000 global employees at the beginning of his tenure there, a significant portion of its functionality was lost.

Additionally, he has coordinated the replacement of legacy "blue ticks," which validated a user's identification, with the more expensive Twitter Blue membership. Celebrities and prominent figures have claimed the change leaves the network vulnerable to fake accounts and misinformation.

Who could is Linda Yaccarino?

Sources had tipped Linda Yaccarino, the head of advertising at NBCUniversal, for the position of Twitter's CEO ahead of the official announcement on Friday.

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After the Wall Street Journal reported Yaccarino was in discussions for the position, two sources told the Financial Times that Yaccarino and Musk were in talks. Musk and Yaccarino made a joint appearance at a recent conference in Miami, where they delivered the keynote address: "Twitter 2.0: From Conversations to Partnerships."

Yaccarino joined NBCUniversal in 2011 and served as the Chairman of Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing the company's advertising sales and client relationships across all of NBCUniversal's media platforms, including broadcast, cable and digital.

Yaccarino had a crucial role in the debut of NBC's as-supported Peacock streaming service, and has been an industry advocate for better ways to measure the impact of advertising.

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