Elon Musk has put the value of his Twitter platform at $20-billion, less than half what he paid for it five months earlier. AFP/Constanza Hevia
SAN FRANCISCO - Named Friday as Elon Musk's successor as Twitter CEO, Linda Yaccarino is a respected media and advertising executive considered a visionary by some.
She left her job as head of advertising at NBCUniversal, where she worked for 12 years.
Yaccarino didn't hesitate to give Musk advice while interviewing him in front of an audience of advertisers at the "Possible" marketing conference in Miami in mid-April.
Advertisers "need to feel that there is an opportunity for them to influence what you're building," Yaccarino told Musk.
She argued that the goal is to make Twitter a place where advertisers are excited to spend marketing money, saying that involves content moderation, user safety, and product development.
"That's where the influence is," Yaccarino said to Musk.
Since taking over Twitter in late October, Musk has repeatedly courted controversy, sacking most of its staff, readmitting far-right figures to the platform, suspending journalists and charging for previously free services.
In response, advertisers fled Twitter due to concerns over marketing messages being associated with troubling content.
"The people in this room are your accelerated path to profitability but there's a decent bit of skeptics in the room," Yaccarino told Musk at the marketing conference.
During the interview in Miami, Yaccarino's direct style and sharp insights visibly intrigued Musk.
Yaccarino brings to Twitter a network that reaches beyond advertising and media.
She is involved in the World Economic Forum in Davos and was a member of the US Presidential Council on Sport, Exercise and Nutrition, attached to the White House.
Yaccarino's connection to the WEF as well as her reported support for vaccinations and masks during the pandemic irks some politically-conservative fans of Musk's previous actions at Twitter.
"Twitter's problems really revolve around Elon Musk," said independent analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group.
"The real test will be, can he step aside and let her do her job?"