July 15, 2024

When Elon Musk announced last month that he had hired Linda Yaccarino as CEO of Twitter, he said explain He was “very happy” to hire someone who could “primarily focus on running the business.”

But just over three weeks into the job, former NBCUniversal advertising executive Ms. Iaccarino was banned from a key job she was hired to do: soliciting ads for Twitter.

Jacarino, 60, had discussed inappropriate content on the site with some of Twitter’s advertisers, according to four people familiar with the matter. But she hasn’t publicly dealt with or personally negotiated with advertisers to boost Twitter’s revenue.

That’s because a contractual agreement with NBCUniversal prevented Ms. Yacarino from participating in ad deals that might conflict with the interests of her former employer, at least initially, according to three people familiar with the matter.

It’s all part of Ms Jacarino’s adjustment to her new role and reporting to her new boss. After decades at traditional media organizations in New York, she is now helping lead a San Francisco-based social media company that has undergone rapid change under the leadership of Musk, who bought Twitter last year.

Unable to finalize an ad deal, Ms. Yacarino has at least repaired a relationship between Twitter and Google; talked to regulators; and focused on employee morale. She hosted happy hour events and tried to unite employees with a mission statement and more internal communications.

“Twitter’s mission is to be the world’s most accurate source of real-time information and a town square for global communication,” she wrote this month in her first company-wide email, which was obtained by The New York Times. mail. “We’re on the verge of making history.”

Twitter did not make Ms. Yacarino, a longtime Madison Avenue power figure, available for an interview. A person close to her said the non-compete clause only applied to her first few weeks at Twitter, while another said NBCUniversal had difficulty enforcing it. The expiration date of the clause is not yet known.

Musk did not respond to a request for comment.

Ms. Iaccarino started as Twitter’s CEO on June 5.Two days ago, the Long Island native and longtime New Yorker tweet A photo of the Manhattan skyline with the caption: “Bay View coming soon!” She took to Twitter with at least one NBCUniversal colleague.

Musk has yet to make a company-wide announcement about Twitter’s hiring of Ms. Yacarino, three employees said. Instead, Ms. Yacarino’s appointment was the second bullet point about an update on new features for advertisers in an email to the company’s sales team before she started her job.

Ms. Jacarino was quick to strike up an upbeat note on Twitter.

During an internal ad sales meeting on June 12, she spoke about the current state of Twitter advertising. Musk took down the site’s guardrails, flooding it with misinformation and toxic content and preventing brands from running ads. The company’s U.S. ad revenue has fallen nearly 60%, and Musk said he expects revenue of about $3 billion this year, down from $5.1 billion in 2021.

According to recordings of the meeting obtained by The Times, Yacarino acknowledged that some “big brands” had moved away from the platform, and said she and other sales staff would have to engage in “hand-to-hand combat” to persuade them to come back. She did not mention that she was unable to discuss advertising deals with clients at the time.

Ms. Jacarino also said she would take a different stance from Musk’s volatile relationship with the media. Her strategy, she said, is to “build a good relationship with them and have them become our advocates or voices to expand our strategy.”

But Ms. Jacarino also made clear she knew who was in charge. She referred to Mr. Musk, who was not in attendance, as “the boss.”

Jacarino joined Musk in a San Francisco meeting with Twitter investors and lenders two days later, a person familiar with the matter said. Together, they laid out the company’s plans to focus more on video, partner with influencers and news publishers, and integrate payments. Reuters The speech was reported earlier.

While Ms. Yacarino’s non-compete clause with NBC has prevented her from getting involved in major advertising discussions, she’s kept busy.

David Cohen, chief executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade group, said he had emailed Ms. Yacarino and said she had been doing “a fact-finding exercise.” He said she was using her connections in the advertising industry to understand Twitter’s position on issues such as how to keep ads away from objectionable content, adding, “She’s definitely listening.”

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

Ms. Jacarino was also absent from the Cannes Lions advertising festival last week, a glittering networking event on the French Riviera that is often considered the pinnacle of the advertising industry calendar. Twitter has significantly scaled back its spending and presence in the region compared to previous years.

Nevertheless, Ms. Jacarino tweet She is seeking feedback from attendees of the Cannes Film Festival. “I’m here for it all!” she wrote.

She remained at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, where she hosted an EU delegation led by Commissioner Thierry Breton. The group is testing whether Twitter’s content moderation system complies with the new European law, the Digital Services Act, which makes social platforms responsible for policing illegal content and disinformation. The bill will take effect in August.

Ms. Jacarino has made headway in some areas, including helping repair Twitter’s relationship with Google. Under Musk, the relationship frayed when Twitter partially stopped paying Google for cloud computing services. Twitter owes Google more than $42 million in unpaid invoices and is trying to stop using Google products by the end of June, according to an internal memo obtained by The Times.

Yacarino spoke with Google Cloud chief Thomas Kurian this month to resolve the issue and order the bill to be paid, a person familiar with the matter said. She also convinced Musk to embrace the new development, the person said.

Google declined to comment.Bloomberg News to report Earlier, Twitter had resumed paying Google.

Ms. Iaccarino is also trying to gain more access to Twitter’s workforce, which has declined by more than 75% since Musk bought the company due to layoffs and other departures. Twitter frames a photo of her inspirational tweets About “wearing 4-inch heels” during his tenure as an executive and hanging them in the communal dining area of ​​his San Francisco office. She also had happy hours locally and in New York, according to four current and former employees.

She had been remarkably upbeat in the conversation, two of the people said. In a meeting with the sales team this month, Ms. Jacarino said Twitter “has an opportunity out of the challenges it has faced over the past few months.”

“Pointed me in the right direction,” she said. “I know what’s coming next.”

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