After much speculation, Elon Musk has announced Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s new CEO, following his $44 billion takeover deal last year. In a tweet, Musk revealed that Yaccarino would focus on business operations, while he would focus on product design and new technology. Yaccarino, who resigned from her long-time role as advertising boss at NBCUniversal earlier in the day, has not yet publicly commented on her appointment.
The announcement appears to end the guessing game about who Musk would name as CEO. In an earlier tweet on May 11, Musk had hinted that he had hired a new CEO for the company, who would be starting in around six weeks. This tweet triggered immediate speculation about the identity of the candidate, with Yaccarino emerging as a possible frontrunner.
Yaccarino faces a challenging task in her new role. Musk has presided over an era of chaos at Twitter, with drastic layoffs reducing the employee count from 7,500 to about 1,000. Some advertisers have hit pause on ads due to the exodus of top ad execs from the company and the proliferation of misinformation on the site. Musk has attempted to shore up Twitter’s finances by introducing paid features via subscription service Twitter Blue, although this move has met with mixed success.
Musk sought to assuage concerns about Yaccarino’s appointment from Twitter’s right-leaning faction by stating that “I think people from both sides of the political spectrum will find Linda to be smart, fair and reasonable.” Musk has previously indicated that his intention was to eventually step back from the Twitter CEO role, amid growing concerns from Tesla shareholders that he was not focusing enough on the EV company. However, he has also stated that he will continue to be active at Twitter, taking on the roles of executive chair and chief technology officer, overseeing product, software, and systems operations.