Twitter’s billionaire owner Elon Musk is taking some heat for naming NBCUniversal Media LLC advertising head Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO for the social media giant.
Business Insider reported Friday that even fans of Musk criticized him for the choice of Yaccarino, who also chairs a committee for the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Those on the left took issue with her connection to former President Donald Trump by being appointed as a member of his presidential council on sports and fitness, as well as following Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, the report said.
Those on the right expressed concerns with her connections to the “woke” agenda of the WEF, which meets each year in Davos, Switzerland, attended by the wealthiest and most influential people in the world, many of which support controversial solutions to issues like climate change, the report said.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she “is the Chairman of the WEF’s Taskforce on Future of Work and sits on the WEF’s Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry Governors Steering Committee.”
The New York Times reported that NBCUniversal announced her immediate departure Friday several hours before Musk announced her appointment.
“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter,” Musk said in a tweet Friday. “[She] will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design and new technology. Looking forward to working with Linda to transform this platform into X, the everything app.”
Musk also said that Yaccarino will start her new position in six weeks.
According to the Times report, Yaccarino’s appointment signals Musk’s priority of advertising in the new Twitter 2.0, because of her prowess as a Madison Avenue power broker.
“Linda’s a force,” Joe Marchese, the former head of ad sales at the Fox Networks Group, who has known Yaccarino for at least a decade, told the publication. “She has one of the biggest jobs in advertising, and the ad market is as hard as it’s ever been.”
Twitter has been plagued with a drop in advertising revenue due to Musk’s takeover in the fall of 2022 when he bought the company for $44 billion and said he wanted to restore free speech on the platform.
The drop in revenue led Musk to eliminate around 75% of the company’s workforce while struggling to pay some of its $13 billion debt from the sale.
Even friends of the advertising powerhouse questioned her decision to work with Musk.
“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,” Lou Paskalis, a longtime ad executive and friend of Yaccarino, told the Times.
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