Linda Iaccarino gets a job as CEO of Twitter after ‘pushing’ Elon Musk: ‘There was chemistry there’


May 15, 2023 | 4:24 p.m

Linda Iaccarino’s appearance onstage with Elon Musk at a recent marketing conference in Miami Beach marked a job interview that finally landed her the role of Twitter’s new CEO, according to an observer who noted the “chemistry” between the two.

Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s head of ad sales who agreed to step in as CEO of Twitter, peppered Musk with questions about his management of the social media company during his “Possible” summit April 18.

“There was a chemistry there,” Lou Paskalis, CEO of marketing consulting firm AJL Advisory, who has been a client of Yaccarino’s for 35 years, told Fortune.

Yaccarino was chosen to interview Musk as part of a talk titled “Twitter 2.0: From Conversations to Partnership.”

During their conversation, Yaccarino referred to Musk as her “mate”. She also admitted to being “obsessed” and “fascinated” by Musk’s acquisition and acquisition of Twitter.

The Miami Beach conference is seen as Musk’s attempt to make peace with advertisers spooked by his newly implemented content moderation policies put in place after Tesla tycoon acquired the social media site for $44 billion last October.

Twitter’s new CEO, Linda Iaccarino, interviewed Elon Musk at a conference in Miami Beach last month.

Observers noted that Yaccarino didn’t hold back and asked Musk tough questions about his Twitter habits.

“I have to push you a little bit because there are a lot of people in this room, they vote with their money,” Iaccarino told Musk on April 18.

I pressed Musk on his tweets in which he expressed disdain for “cancel culture” and the pronouns used by transgender and non-binary people.

Yaccarino told Musk that advertisers who were present in Miami Beach were “reluctant” to do business on Twitter.

Yaccarino last week left NBCUniversal to take the CEO role at Twitter.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“What do you say to them in this room?” Jacarino asked Musk, and he replied that his tweets should be considered “sarcasm” or “a joke.”

At another point in the interview, Icarino questioned Musk about his late-night tweeting habits.

“I said you probably shouldn’t be tweeting after 3 in the morning,” Iaccarino said.

“Are you going to commit to being more specific and not tweeting after 3am?”

Observers at the Miami Beach conference noted the “chemistry” between Musk and Iaccarino.

Those who knew Jacarino described her as a “tough” Italian woman—a “Lady of Long Island”—who could “inspire and terrorize her employees.”

Yaccarino is said to inspire loyalty and trust from her most devoted subordinates — who in turn reward them by inviting them to intense SoulCycle sessions, according to Fortune.

Its critics claim that it shows favoritism to employees it likes by rewarding them with promotions even though they were not deserving.

Yaccarino is known as a powerful advertising executive who developed sharp elbows while climbing the ranks of a male-dominated industry.
udo salters photography / BACKGRID

A source told Fortune that she developed sharp elbows in a male-dominated industry, which enabled her to move up the ranks at NBC.

“She has stood up to a lot of misogyny. She has stood up to a lot of men,” a source who worked with her told Fortune.

“There is nothing sober about it.”

Yaccarino is also said to be known for her staunchly pro-Republican political views.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump appointed her to his President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition.

But Paskalis told Fortune that Yaccarino keeps her opinions “fairly private.” He also predicted that she would be a moderating force who would show more restraint compared to the free catch.

Maybe she will be able to calm down [Musk’s] Enthusiasm for extreme comments, but offers more balance,” Pascalis said.

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