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Twitter’s New CEO, Linda Yaccarino, Eases Into the Sizzling Seat

When Elon Musk introduced final month that he had employed Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s chief govt, he stated he was “excited” to carry on somebody who might “focus totally on enterprise operations.”

However simply over three weeks into her new job, Ms. Yaccarino, the previous head of promoting at NBCUniversal, has been prevented from engaged on a key part of what she was employed to do: drum up promoting for Twitter.

Ms. Yaccarino, 60, has spoken with a few of Twitter’s advertisers about unsavory content material on the positioning, 4 folks with data of the conversations stated. However she has not engaged in public hobnobbing and hands-on negotiating with advertisers to extend Twitter’s income.

That’s as a result of a contractual settlement with NBCUniversal prevented Ms. Yaccarino — no less than initially — from engaged on promoting offers that may battle with the pursuits of her former employer, three folks conversant in the association stated.

It’s all a part of an adjustment as Ms. Yaccarino settles into her new position and reviews to a brand new boss. After working for conventional media organizations in New York for many years, she is now serving to to guide a San Francisco-based social media firm that has undergone speedy adjustments below Mr. Musk, who purchased Twitter final 12 months.

Restricted from hammering out promoting offers, Ms. Yaccarino has as an alternative repaired no less than one relationship, between Twitter and Google; talked with regulators; and centered on worker morale. She has held comfortable hours and tried rallying employees with mission statements and extra inner communication.

“Twitter is on a mission to change into the world’s most correct real-time info supply and a world city sq. for communication,” she wrote this month in her first companywide e mail, which The New York Occasions obtained. “We’re on the precipice of constructing historical past.”

Twitter didn’t make Ms. Yaccarino, a longtime Madison Avenue energy participant, out there for an interview. An individual near her stated the noncompete clause prolonged just for her first few weeks at Twitter, whereas one other stated it was tough for NBCUniversal to implement. The clause’s expiration date was unclear.

Mr. Musk didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Ms. Yaccarino started as Twitter’s chief govt on June 5. Two days earlier, the native Lengthy Islander and longtime New Yorker tweeted a photograph of the Manhattan skyline with the message: “Bay Space views coming quickly!” She took no less than one NBCUniversal colleague together with her to Twitter.

Mr. Musk had not made a companywide announcement about Ms. Yaccarino’s hiring at Twitter, three staff stated. As an alternative, in an e mail to the corporate’s gross sales group earlier than Ms. Yaccarino began, her appointment was the second bullet level beneath an replace a few new function for advertisers.

Ms. Yaccarino shortly struck an upbeat observe at Twitter.

At an inner advert gross sales assembly on June 12, she addressed the state of Twitter’s promoting. Mr. Musk had eliminated guardrails on the website, permitting misinformation and poisonous content material to flourish and deterring manufacturers from promoting. The corporate’s U.S. advert income has fallen practically 60 p.c, and Mr. Musk has stated he expects income this 12 months to be round $3 billion, down from $5.1 billion in 2021.

Ms. Yaccarino acknowledged that some “large manufacturers” had stayed away from the platform, in line with a recording of the assembly that The Occasions obtained, and stated she and different gross sales staff must interact in “hand-to-hand fight” to steer them to return. She didn’t point out her lack of ability on the time to debate advert offers with shoppers.

Ms. Yaccarino additionally stated she would take a unique place from Mr. Musk’s rocky relationship with the media. Her technique, she stated, is to “have excellent relationships with them in order that they change into our advocates or mouthpieces to amplify our methods.”

However Ms. Yaccarino additionally made it clear that she knew who was in cost. She referred to Mr. Musk, who was not in attendance, as “the boss.”

Two days later, Ms. Yaccarino met with Twitter’s traders and lenders in San Francisco alongside Mr. Musk, an individual conversant in the assembly stated. Collectively, they introduced their plans for the corporate to focus extra on video, work with influencers and information publishers, and combine cost capabilities. Reuters reported earlier on the presentation.

Whereas Ms. Yaccarino’s noncompete clause with NBC held her again from main promoting discussions, she stayed busy.

David Cohen, the chief govt of the Interactive Promoting Bureau, a commerce group, stated that he had emailed with Ms. Yaccarino and that she had been on “a type of fact-finding tour.” She is leveraging her relationships within the promoting business to discern the place Twitter stands on points corresponding to the best way to hold advertisements away from objectionable content material, he stated, including, “She’s undoubtedly listening.”

But when Publicis Groupe, one of many world’s largest promoting businesses, held a convention in Paris on June 16, its chairman interviewed Mr. Musk with out Ms. Yaccarino, who was in San Francisco. In the course of the journey, Mr. Musk additionally lunched with Bernard Arnault, the founding father of LVMH, the world’s largest luxurious firm and a significant advertiser.

Ms. Yaccarino additionally didn’t seem final week on the Cannes Lions promoting pageant, a glittering networking occasion on the French Riviera that’s usually thought of the apex of the advert business calendar. Twitter considerably scaled again its spending and presence there in contrast with earlier years.

Nonetheless, Ms. Yaccarino tweeted that she was soliciting suggestions from Cannes attendees. “I’m right here for ALL of it!” she wrote.

She had remained in San Francisco at Twitter’s headquarters, the place she hosted a European Union delegation led by Commissioner Thierry Breton. The group was testing whether or not Twitter’s content material moderation programs would adjust to a brand new European legislation, the Digital Companies Act, that holds social platforms liable for policing illicit content material and disinformation. It goes into impact in August.

Ms. Yaccarino has made progress in some areas, together with serving to to fix Twitter’s relationship with Google. That relationship frayed below Mr. Musk when Twitter partly stopped paying Google for cloud computing providers. Twitter owed Google greater than $42 million in unpaid invoices and was making an attempt to cease its use of Google’s merchandise by the top of June, in line with an inner memo obtained by The Occasions.

Ms. Yaccarino spoke this month to Thomas Kurian, the top of Google Cloud, to resolve the difficulty and ordered the invoice paid, an individual conversant in the dialog stated. She additionally persuaded Mr. Musk to embrace the brand new developments, the particular person stated.

Google declined to remark. Bloomberg Information reported earlier that Twitter had resumed paying Google.

Ms. Yaccarino has additionally tried reaching out extra to Twitter’s work pressure, which has shrunk greater than 75 p.c by layoffs and different departures since Mr. Musk purchased the corporate. Twitter framed a duplicate of certainly one of her motivational tweets about “carrying 4 inch heels” whereas working as an govt and hung it in a eating widespread space within the San Francisco workplace. She has additionally held comfortable hours there and in New York, 4 present and former staff stated.

And she or he has been relentlessly optimistic in her conversations, two of these folks stated. In her assembly with the gross sales group this month, Ms. Yaccarino stated Twitter had an “alternative that comes out of being challenged the final bunch of months.”

“Level me in the proper instructions,” she stated. “I do know what it’s going to take.”



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