Twitter CEO Search: NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino In Talks To Take Over For Elon Musk, Report Says

Topline

NBCUniversal advertising chief Linda Yaccarino is holding discussions with Twitter to take over billionaire owner Elon Musk’s role as CEO, according to the Wall Street Journal, after Musk tweeted Thursday he was “Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO”—without naming who would take the role.

Advertising Week New York 2016 - Day 3

NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino speaks onstage at the Hacking The Future Of Premium Content: Mr. Robot And Redefining TV Models panel at Liberty Theater during 2016 Advertising Week New York on September 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York)

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Key Facts

Yaccarino has been at NBCUniversal since 2011, and was instrumental in launching the Peacock ad-supported streaming platform, according to the Journal, which cited anonymous sources in reporting her talks with Twitter.

Yaccarino could not immediately be reached for comment.

Musk, the world’s second-richest person and Twitter’s principal owner, said he will transition to the company’s executive chair and chief technology officer, and oversee its product, software and systems operations.

Musk did not name the CEO, but referred to them as “she.”

Musk, who also owns electric automaker Tesla and space exploration company SpaceX, had hinted at stepping down late last year, with the majority of respondents in a Twitter poll saying he should—Musk said in February he plans to have a new CEO by the end of the year.

The billionaire’s hands-on role at Twitter has been criticized by some Tesla investors, who argued last month Musk has been distracted by his work at Twitter and that the e-vehicle maker has become mismanaged, even seeking a board meeting to deliberate on Musk’s performance as Tesla’s CEO, Bloomberg reported (Tesla shares shot up more than 2% following Musk’s tweet, closing at $172.08).

Key Background

The move comes as Twitter launches a series of new features on the site, including encrypted messaging and video calling, as Musk moves closer to rebranding the platform as his long-envisioned “everything app” known simply as “X” (Musk renamed Twitter’s incorporated name to X Corp last month). Since purchasing Twitter in October, however, Musk has come under fire for loosening the platform’s moderation policies, temporarily booting several reporters off the site and labeling multiple news organizations as “state-affiliated media.” In less than two months since he finalized his long-awaited $44 billion purchase, a group of advertisers, including Apple, Balenciaga, Chipotle, United Airlines Ford and General Motors, dropped their ads on the platform, though Musk has repeatedly downplayed controversies at the company, saying last month many advertisers have returned to Twitter and the company is “roughly breaking even.”

Forbes Valuation

We estimate Musk’s net worth to be roughly $179.5 billion, making him the world’s second-richest person, only behind Bernard Arnault ($239.6 billion), the head of fashion and cosmetic empire LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton, Sephora and Tiffany & Co.

Further Reading

Musk Claims Twitter Is ‘Roughly Breaking Even’ (Forbes)

Twitter Inc. ‘No Longer Exists’ As Elon Musk Inches Closer To X ‘Everything App’ Ambitions (Forbes)

Twitter Tells Corporate Partners It’s Now X Corp. Amid Switch To ‘Everything App’ (Forbes)