Linda Yaccarino (born December 21, 1963) is an American executive who has served as the chief executive officer of X Corp since June 2023.[1] She previously held the position of chairman of global advertising & partnerships for NBCUniversal.[2]

Linda Yaccarino
Yaccarino in 2024
Born (1963-12-21) December 21, 1963 (age 60)
EducationPennsylvania State University (BA)
Occupation(s)CEO of X Corp. and X
SpouseClaude Madrazo
Children2

Early life and education

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Yaccarino grew up in Deer Park, New York.[3] She graduated from Pennsylvania State University's Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications in 1985.[4]

Career

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Yaccarino's President's Council portrait, 2018

Yaccarino worked at Turner Entertainment for 15 years, becoming executive vice president and chief operating officer. She is credited with modernizing the company's ad sales strategies.[5][6]

Yaccarino joined NBCUniversal in October 2011.[5] As the head of NBCUniversal's advertising sales, she led a department of over 2,000 people, and played a key role in the launch of the Peacock streaming service.[2][7] Though praised by advertisers and acknowledged as a hardworking saleswoman, associates from her time at NBCUniversal said her tenure was "marked by instability," with multiple reorganizations creating a decline in the culture of the department.[8]

Yaccarino joined the Ad Council in 2014. Yaccarino assumed the position of chair of the Ad Council's board of directors in January 2021, for a term that ran until June 30, 2022.[9] As chair, Yaccarino partnered with the Biden administration in 2021 to create a COVID-19 vaccination campaign that featured Pope Francis.[10]

In 2018, President Donald Trump appointed her to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition.[11]

Twitter / X

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Yaccarino resigned from NBCUniversal on May 12, 2023, and on the same day, Elon Musk announced that Yaccarino would be the new chief executive officer of X Corp. and X (formerly known as Twitter).[12] Yaccarino had long expressed an interest in Twitter.[13] On three occasions while at NBCUniversal, Yaccarino proposed that Comcast executives buy Twitter outright. Early conversations around a potential $3 billion offer never resulted in a deal.[14]

Fortune and The New Republic described Yaccarino as a former Trump appointee who follows a number of conspiracy theorist and far-right accounts on Twitter.[15][16] Upon her appointment, the Financial Times noted that Yaccarino's previous work with the World Economic Forum (WEF) had earned backlash from some "more conspiracy-minded Musk fans" who distrusted international political organizations. Musk, a harsh critic of the WEF, stated that Yaccarino's links to the organization would not harm his self-proclaimed commitment to free speech on Twitter.[17]

Throughout her tenure at X, Yaccarino has been criticized as a CEO in name only, undermined by Musk's presence and behavior. Upon her appointment, experts were concerned Yaccarino's role would be an example of the glass cliff. Yaccarino has said the implication that she had not earned her role saddened her, stating "I literally went to the business world not even knowing being a woman was a thing."[14][18]

Under Musk's and Yaccarino's leadership, hate speech has increased on the platform,[19][20] which has caused companies to suspend advertising.[21][22] In November 2023, after Musk made comments in support of an antisemitic conspiracy theory, a number of companies, including Yaccarino's former employer, Comcast, paused their advertising with X.[23] Yaccarino attributed the pause in advertising to a Media Matters for America report that claimed ads on X from major corporations had appeared next to white nationalist and Nazi content, rather than to Musk's comments; in a company-wide email, Yaccarino said the article was "misleading and manipulated."[24][25] Amid the controversy, Yaccarino was privately urged to resign by a number of advertising executives, including friends.[26]

Yaccarino publicly supported X's lawsuit against Media Matters, posting on X, "You know I'm committed to truth and fairness. Here's the truth. Not a single authentic user on X saw IBM's, Comcast's, or Oracle's ads next to the content in Media Matters' article."[27] At a company meeting, when asked what she would like the outcome of the lawsuit to be, Yaccarino replied, "the validation that Media Matters, unfortunately, manipulates, in this case, not just advertisers, but people in general."[28]

Fortune listed Yaccarino as one of the CEOs who struggled the most in 2023, writing that she "seems either unable or unwilling to restrain her boss from his worst impulses while failing to reassure advertisers that all is under control."[29]

In November 2023, Yaccarino was subpoenaed by a U.S. Senate panel to testify at a hearing on children's online safety.[30]

Personal life

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Yaccarino and her husband, Claude Madrazo, have two children and one grandchild. They live in Sea Cliff, New York.[31][14] She is Catholic.[32]

References

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  1. ^ Frier, Sarah (June 5, 2023). "Twitter's New CEO Linda Yaccarino Has First Day in the Role". Bloomberg News.
  2. ^ a b Jessica Toonkel; Suzanne Vranica; Alexa Corse (May 11, 2023). "NBCUniversal's Linda Yaccarino Is in Talks to Become Twitter CEO". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Wikidata Q118304293. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  3. ^ Guthrie, Marisa (May 6, 2016). "TV Upfronts: NBCUniversal Ad Sales Chief Talks TV's 'Measurement Crisis' (Q&A) – The Hollywood Reporter". Hollywoodreporter.com. Archived from the original on May 12, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  4. ^ DiSanto, Matt (May 12, 2023). "Twitter's next CEO is a Penn State graduate. Check out her career highlights, background". Centre Daily Times. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  5. ^ a b Nellie Andreeva (October 31, 2011). "Turner's Linda Yaccarino Named President of Cable/Digital Ad Sales For NBCUniversal – Deadline". Deadline.com. Archived from the original on May 11, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  6. ^ Chmielewski, Dawn; Dang, Sheila (May 12, 2023). "Ex-NBCUniversal ad chief Yaccarino named new Twitter CEO, Musk says". Reuters. Archived from the original on May 12, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  7. ^ Corse, Suzanne Vranica and Alexa (November 7, 2023). "WSJ News Exclusive | X's Elon Musk Hired a CEO With TV Roots. She's Showing Them". WSJ. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
  8. ^ Masters, Kim (November 29, 2023). "Linda Yaccarino's Very Unmerry X Mess". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  9. ^ Dade Hayes (January 6, 2021). "NBCU Ad Chief Linda Yaccarino Named Chair Of Ad Council's Board Of Directors – Deadline". Deadline.com. Archived from the original on May 12, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  10. ^ "Who is Linda Yaccarino, Elon Musk's pick for Twitter CEO?". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on May 13, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  11. ^ Lynch, Jason (May 4, 2018). "Trump Names NBCU's Linda Yaccarino to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition". adweek.com. Archived from the original on May 11, 2023. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  12. ^ Lillian Rizzo (May 12, 2023). "Elon Musk confirms Twitter CEO hire: Linda Yaccarino". Cnbc.com. Archived from the original on May 12, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  13. ^ Mac, Ryan; Hsu, Tiffany; Mullin, Benjamin (June 29, 2023). "Twitter's New Chief Eases Into the Hot Seat". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  14. ^ a b c Murphy, Hannah (September 27, 2023). "Why Linda Yaccarino took on the wildest job in Silicon Valley". Financial Times. Retrieved October 2, 2023.
  15. ^ Hetzner, Christiaan (May 12, 2023). "Linda Yaccarino has just quit NBC. This is what her Twitter account reveals about Elon Musk's rumored choice for CEO". Retrieved August 5, 2023.
  16. ^ Thakker, Prem (November 1, 2022). "Elon Musk Is the Only One Happy About New Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  17. ^ "Linda Yaccarino: an advertising veteran enters the wild world of Musk's Twitter". Financial Times. May 12, 2023. Archived from the original on May 13, 2023. Retrieved May 13, 2023.
  18. ^ Elliott, Vittoria. "Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino Is Teetering on the Glass Cliff". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved October 2, 2023.
  19. ^ Frenkel, Sheera (December 2, 2022). "Hate Speech's Rise on Twitter Is Unprecedented, Researchers Find". The New York Times. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  20. ^ "Why is Elon Musk's Twitter takeover increasing hate speech?". Brookings. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  21. ^ Duffy, Clare; Fung, Brian (August 17, 2023). "Two brands suspend advertising on X after their ads appeared next to pro-Nazi content". CNN. Retrieved September 7, 2023.
  22. ^ Counts, Aisha; Nakano, Eari (July 19, 2023). "Twitter's Surge in Harmful Content Keeps Advertiser Away". Time. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  23. ^ Acton, Michael; Murphy, Hannah; Grimes, Christopher. "Apple and Disney join advertiser exodus from Elon Musk's X". Financial Times. Retrieved November 19, 2023.
  24. ^ Mac, Ryan (November 24, 2023). "X May Lose Up to $75 Million in Revenue as More Advertisers Pull Out". The New York Times. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  25. ^ Nguyen, Kevin (November 20, 2023). "Linda Yaccarino: advertisers fleeing from X are just "temporarily paused investments"". The Verge. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  26. ^ Murphy, Hannah; Grimes, Christopher (November 20, 2023). "X chief Linda Yaccarino resists pressure from advertisers to quit". Financial Times. Retrieved November 20, 2023.
  27. ^ Fung, Brian; Duffy, Clare (November 20, 2023). "Elon Musk's X sues media watchdog Media Matters over report on pro-Nazi content on the social media site". CNN. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
  28. ^ Robison, Kylie (November 20, 2023). "Inside Linda Yaccarino's X all-hands after Elon Musk's platform sues Media Matters: 'By all means, put your heads together to bring new revenue into the company'". Fortune.
  29. ^ "Biggest CEO successes and setbacks: 2023's triumphs and 2024's challenges". Fortune. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  30. ^ Lima, Cristiano (November 21, 2023). "In rare show of force, senators enlist U.S. marshals to subpoena tech CEOs". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  31. ^ Anderson, Mae (May 12, 2023). "What to know about Twitter's new CEO Linda Yaccarino". Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 13, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  32. ^ Robison, Kylie (May 14, 2023). "Can Linda Yaccorino keep Elon Musk on a tight enough leash to succeed?". Fortune. Retrieved September 29, 2023.
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