NBCUniversal’s Linda Yacarino In Talks To Become Twitter CEO – Report – Deadline

Updates: NBCUniversal confirmed that sales chief Linda Yacarino is leaving the company, amid reports that she will become Twitter’s new CEO.

Mark Marshall, currently president of advertising sales and client partnerships, will become interim president of NBCU’s advertising and partnerships group. He will report to Mark Lazarus, President of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.

“We are grateful for Linda Yacarino’s leadership in NBCUniversal’s advertising sales business and the innovative team and platform she has built,” said Comcast President Mike Cavanaugh.

Yacarino has been with the company for 12 years.

Elon Musk announced Thursday that he is handing over the reins as CEO to an unnamed individual. This immediately ignited speculation as to his successor, and hours later The Wall Street Journal reported that Yacarino had been tapped for the job.

Earlier, May 11: In a potentially seismic change on the eve of the broadcast upfront, word emerged Thursday evening that NBCUniversal sales chief Linda Yacarino is reportedly in discussions to become Twitter’s new CEO.

wall street journalThursday evening’s report on the hiring raised eyebrows and hacked over its timing. On Monday morning, Yacarino will hit the stage at Radio City Music Hall, making his pitch to more than 4,000 advertising buyers. Instead, one of the largest media companies is grappling with its third major crisis of the past two weeks, following the abrupt exit of CEO Jeff Shell and the start of the writers’ strike.

Sources initially reached by Deadline were generally flustered to say the least, though a key sign may have come last month when Yacarino and Musk appeared together in a keynote talk at a conference in Miami. NBCU and Twitter revealed a major renewal of their advertising partnership around the Olympics shortly thereafter. That announcement was accompanied by a bouquet tossed by NBCU, which in recent months contrasted with the sentiments of many advertisers and media agency executives who were skeptical about Twitter’s legitimacy under Musk.

When contacted by Deadline about possible news Thursday evening, Yacarino’s top NBCU communications deputy responded only that “Linda is doing back to back rehearsals for Upfront.” Twitter’s communication system has been dismantled since Musk’s $44 billion acquisition. The official press email address for general inquiries has recently been set up to automatically reply with a poop emoji.

Musk is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and took the title on Twitter, though he refers to himself as Chief Tweet. He also polled his 139 million followers on the question of whether he should resign as CEO of the social media company (verdict: yes).

As a new entity emerged from a tumultuous beginning into its new ownership era, advertising quickly became one of the company’s major weaknesses. Musk has fired most of the company’s employees and banned several brands over objectionable content. While Musk has launched an effort to bring in revenue through subscriptions like Twitter Blue and its infamous blue check mark, it hasn’t gained initial traction. The operation of the verification scheme (previously, Twitter determined by internal means which users were legitimate) failed so thoroughly that impersonators were able to impersonate major corporations. Shares of drugmaker Eli Lilly soared after a tweet from a fake blue check handle and the company’s logo claimed that insulin drugs would be made available for free.

While Musk said that paid subscriptions will help provide users with a less cluttered experience and eliminate bots, advertising remains at the core of the business. At the time of the takeover, Twitter was making more than 90% of its money from advertising.

Yacarino, a 12-year veteran of NBCU, and previously that network under the Turner banner, has gained credibility in industry circles for his outspokenness and, when the situation warrants, fierceness. She was an early and outspoken critic of Nielsen, a now common stance, but was also willing to publicly question the viability of YouTube, Google and Facebook as blue-chip advertisers when they charge 80 cents of each advertising dollar. were emptying but also scaring advertisers by putting their message alongside inappropriate videos circulating freely on the platform.

The Yacarino report comes after Musk tweeted earlier Thursday that he was “excited to announce that I have hired a new CEO for X/Twitter,” adding that it would be a woman but not naming her. Will not done.

“She’ll be starting in ~6 weeks!” “My role will be transitioning to Executive President and CTO, overseeing Product, Software and Sysops,” Musk wrote. (The 6-week timeframe enables Yacarino’s departure after the springtime crescendo of the media advertising sales calendar, when the TV season ends, the next season begins, and a growing number of execs head to the Cannes Lions in June.) passes.)

Musk said in December that he would step down as CEO as soon as he found someone “foolish enough to take the job”. That comes after Musk, who acquired the social media giant for $44 billion, promised to follow through on the result of a Twitter poll in which he asked users whether he should step down. Over 57% voted ‘yes’.

Yaccarino, who has been at NBCU since 2011, currently holds the position of President of Global Advertising & Partnerships in the Comcast Division. She oversees all global, national and local advertising sales, partnerships, marketing, advertising technology, data, measurement and strategic initiatives, which states that she and her team have generated over $100 billion in advertising sales. Have earned

— Ted Johnson contributed to this report.