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Elon Musk says he has chosen new Twitter CEO, will step down within weeks

On Thursday, Elon Musk announced that he will be stepping down as Twitter CEO, and has chosen a new candidate.

“Excited to announce that I’ve a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “My role will transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops.”

On Friday, Elon Musk announced that ex-NBCUniversal advertising executive Linda Yaccarino will take over as CEO. Yaccarino had worked at NBCUniversal for nearly 12 years, rising through the executive ranks to become chairman of global advertising and partnerships in 2020.

As stated by experts, she brings long standing relationships with major advertisers and a strong reputation within the corporate community.

“She transformed advertising at NBCUniversal,” Mike Proulx, a vice president and research director at Forrester, told ABC News. “If she succeeds, Twitter succeeds.”

Earlier last month, Yaccarino interviewed Musk on a Miami stage of hundreds of advertisers.

Luring advertisers is critical for Musk and Twitter after many fled in the early months after his takeover of the social media platform, fearing harm to their brands in the ensuing chaos.

Linda Yaccarino could possibly help restore advertisers’ faith in Twitter, ad agency DiGo founder and creative chief Mark DiMassimo said. He noted that Yaccarino successfully integrated and digitized ad sales at Comcast and NBC – and that her track record of cross-selling ads across different platforms could appeal to Musk as he tries to transform Twitter from a social media company to a bigger media platform.

“If anyone can translate the Musk vision into advantages for marketers she’ll be able to do it,” DiMassimo said. “Even though there’s skepticism and all marketers live in the ‘show me’ state right now with regard to Twitter, if in fact she does go to Twitter this is a powerfully reassuring move.”

Elon Musk’s announcement to step down as CEO comes months after Musk pledged in December to step down as the head of Twitter.

Musk, who took over as CEO of Twitter when he completed his $44 billion purchase of the company in October. After acquiring Twitter, Musk made major changes to the company and its platform. In an effort to significantly slash costs, the company has cut roughly 75% of its 7,500-person workforce, raising concerns about Twitter’s capacity to maintain its platform.

Twitter even suffered a user outage in February that lasted for hours and required an emergency fix, prompting an apology from the company.

Not to mention, Musk has also sought to rejuvenate the platform’s subscription offering as a means of supplementing its advertising revenue. Under Twitter’s new subscription, users gain access to account verification — the site’s signature blue checkmark — for an $8 monthly fee, which amounts to $96 per year.

Before this sudden change, the signature blue checkmark was used to verify celebrities, politicians, journalists and prominent figures on a case-by-case basis in an effort to authenticate their identities and prevent impersonation.

Even with the new subscription changes, Twitter partially reversed it and reverified some legacy accounts, including accounts affiliated with basketball star Lebron James and author Stephen King.

In order to defend his actions, Musk claimed that the subscription change for Twitter was part of an aggressive effort to rescue the company from financial peril, which he described in a Twitter Spaces interview in December as an “emergency fire drill.”

The hiring of Yaccarino, however, suggests a renewed focus on advertising, which accounts for the vast majority of Twitter’s revenue, Dan Ives, a managing director of equity research at Wedbush, an investment firm, informed ABC News.

“The heart and lungs of Twitter’s monetization is advertising and Musk realizes that’s not going to change,” Ives said. “He needs an advertising guru front and center leading the charge of Twitter.”


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