April 19, 2024

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Twitter’s new CEO, Linda Iaccarino, is easy to get into the hot seat

Twitter’s new CEO, Linda Iaccarino, is easy to get into the hot seat

When Elon Musk announced last month that he had appointed Linda Iaccarino as CEO of Twitter He said He was “excited” to bring in someone who could “focus primarily on business operations”.

But just over three weeks into her new job, Yaccarino, the former head of advertising at NBCUniversal, has been barred from working on a key component of what she’s been set to do: crowd advertising on Twitter.

Ms. Yaccarino, 60, spoke with some Twitter advertisers about hateful content on the site, four people familiar with the conversations said. But it did not participate in public maneuvers and practical negotiation with advertisers to increase Twitter revenue.

That’s because a contractual agreement with NBCUniversal barred Ms. Yaccarino — at least initially — from working on advertising deals that would conflict with the interests of her former employer, three people familiar with the arrangement said.

It’s all part of an adjustment as Mrs. Yaccarino settles into her new role and reports to her new boss. After working in traditional media organizations in New York for decades, she now helps lead a San Francisco-based social media company that underwent rapid change under Mr. Musk, who bought Twitter last year.

Restricted from striking advertising deals, Ms. Iaccarino instead repaired at least one relationship between Twitter and Google; talk to the organizers; Focused on employee morale. It held happy hours and tried to galvanize workers with mission statements and more internal communication.

“Twitter is on a mission to become the world’s most accurate source of real-time information and a global arena for communication,” she wrote this month in her first company-wide email obtained by The New York Times. “We are on the brink of making history.”

Twitter did not make Ms. Yaccarino, a Madison Avenue power player, available for an interview. One person close to her said the imperfect clause only extended to her first few weeks on Twitter, while another said it was difficult for NBCUniversal to enforce. The expiration date of the item is not clear.

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Mr. Musk did not respond to a request for comment.

Ms. Iaccarino took over as CEO of Twitter on June 5. chirp Image of the Manhattan skyline with the message: “Bay Area Views Coming Soon!” At least one female colleague from NBCUniversal took to Twitter with her.

Three employees said that Mr. Musk did not make a company-wide announcement about Iaccarino’s hiring at Twitter. Instead, in an email to the company’s sales team before Ms. Yaccarino started, her appointment was the second point down an update about a new feature for advertisers.

Ms. Yaccarino quickly sent out an optimistic note on Twitter.

At an internal ad sales meeting on June 12, I talked about the state of Twitter ads. Mr. Musk has removed the site’s firewalls, allowing misinformation and toxic content to flourish and preventing brands from advertising. The company’s advertising revenue in the United States has fallen by about 60 percent, and Musk said he expects revenue this year to be around $3 billion, down from $5.1 billion in 2021.

Ms Iaccarino acknowledged that some “big brands” have walked away from the platform, according to a recording of the meeting obtained by The Times, and said she and other sales staff would have to engage in “hand-to-hand combat” in order to persuade them to return. She did not mention her inability at the time to discuss advertising deals with clients.

Ms. Iaccarino also said she would take a different stance on Mr. Musk’s strained relationship with the media. Her strategy, she said, is to “establish very good relations with them so that they become our champions or mouthpieces to amplify our strategies”.

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But Ms. Jacarino also made it clear that she knew who was responsible. She referred to Mr. Musk, who was not present, as “the boss.”

Two days later, Ms. Yaccarino met with Twitter investors and lenders in San Francisco along with Mr. Musk, a person familiar with the meeting said. Together, they presented their plans for the company to focus more on video, work with influencers and news publishers, and integrate payment capabilities. Reuters I mentioned earlier on the show.

While Ms. Yaccarino’s unfinished clause with NBC kept her from major advertising debates, she kept herself busy.

David Cohen, CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade group, said he emailed Ms. Iaccarino and that she was on “kind of a fact-finding tour.” He said she uses her connections in the advertising industry to discern Twitter’s stance on issues such as how to keep ads out of objectionable content, adding, “She’s definitely listening.”

However, when Publicis Groupe, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, held a conference in Paris on June 16, its boss interviewed Mr. Musk without Ms. Yaccarino, who was in San Francisco. During the trip, Mr. Musk also Lunch with Bernard ArnaultFounder of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury company and major advertiser.

Ms. Yaccarino also didn’t appear last week at the Cannes Lions ad festival, a glamorous networking event on the French Riviera that’s often considered the pinnacle of the advertising industry’s calendar. Twitter has significantly reduced its spending and presence there compared to previous years.

Still, Mrs. Jacarino chirp She was soliciting feedback from Cannes attendees. “I’m here for all of it!” I wrote.

She had stayed in San Francisco at Twitter headquarters, hosting a delegation from the European Union led by Commissioner Thierry Breton. The group was testing whether Twitter’s content moderation systems would comply with a new European law, the Digital Services Act, which holds social platforms responsible for monitoring illegal content and misinformation. It goes into effect in August.

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Ms. Iaccarino has made progress in some areas, including helping to repair Twitter’s relationship with Google. That relationship soured under Mr. Musk when Twitter partially stopped paying Google for cloud computing services. Twitter owes Google more than $42 million in unpaid bills and was trying to stop its use of Google products by the end of June, according to an internal memo obtained by The Times.

This month, Ms. Iaccarino spoke to Thomas Kurian, the head of Google Cloud, to resolve the issue and order the bill to be paid, a person familiar with the conversation said. The person also said it persuaded Mr. Musk to embrace the new developments.

Google declined to comment. Bloomberg News mentioned Earlier that Twitter had resumed paying Google.

Ms. Yaccarino has also tried to engage more with Twitter’s workforce, which has shrunk by more than 75 percent through layoffs and leave since Mr. Musk bought the company. Twitter tweeted a copy of one of them motivational tweets About “wearing 4-inch heels” while working as an executive and hanging out in the common dining area of ​​my San Francisco office. Four current and former employees said it also held happy hours there and in New York.

Two of those people said she was relentlessly upbeat in her conversations. In a meeting with the sales force this month, Ms. Yaccarino said Twitter has “an opportunity that comes from taking on the challenge of the last few months.”

Point me in the right directions, she said. “I know what it will take.”