Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla who took over as interim CEO of Twitter last fall, has announced that he has found a new CEO for the social media platform, which has been renamed X Corp. Although he did not name the new CEO, multiple media reports have identified her as Linda Yaccarino, an executive with NBCUniversal. Yaccarino was the chairwoman for global advertising and partnerships and interviewed Musk on a Miami stage last month in front of hundreds of advertisers.
Musk has long insisted that he is not the company’s permanent CEO and said that his role will transition to becoming Twitter’s executive chairman and chief technology officer. He announced the news of the new CEO on Thursday, causing shares of Tesla to rise about 2%.
Twitter’s advertising business has taken a hit under Musk’s rule, and analysts who follow the company’s business welcomed the news of a new CEO. Jasmine Enberg, an analyst with Insider Intelligence, said: “A new CEO is the only way forward for Twitter. The single biggest problem with Twitter’s ad business was Elon Musk. As he steps back, Twitter can begin to unravel Musk’s personal brand from the company’s corporate image and attempt to regain trust among advertisers.”
Musk had previously expressed his desire to reduce his time at Twitter and find someone else to run the company. He tweeted in December that he would resign as CEO as soon as he found someone foolish enough to take the job. In February, he anticipated finding a CEO for Twitter “probably toward the end of this year.”
Musk’s tenure at Twitter has been chaotic, and he has made various promises and proclamations that he has backtracked or never followed up on. He began his first day firing the company’s top executives, followed by roughly 80% of its staff. He has upended the platform’s verification system and has scaled back content moderation and safeguards against the spread of misinformation.
Overall, the announcement of a new CEO for Twitter is seen as a positive step for the company, which has struggled under Musk’s mercurial rule. The success of these efforts will depend on who takes over, but it’s difficult to imagine that the new CEO could be more controversial or damaging to Twitter’s ad business than Musk has been.