September 24, 2023

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Teamwork: Linda Iaccarino thinks she can change business with Elon Musk

Twitter’s new chief executive has pledged to “transform” the social network with owner Elon Musk as it struggles with advertiser churn and a heavy debt load.

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Linda Iaccarino, who will take over in six weeks, said she was excited to “transform this business together” with Musk, who bought Twitter six months ago for $44bn (£38.1bn).

The 59-year-old advertising veteran first acknowledged her appointment on Twitter over the weekend and said she would “create a brighter future.”

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Iaccarino said: “Thank you, Elon Musk. I have long been inspired by your vision of creating a brighter future. I’m excited to help bring this vision to Twitter and change this business together!”

She added, “I’m not as prolific as [Elon Musk] (for now!) but I am also committed to the future of this platform.”

According to Iaccarino’s second post, Twitter user feedback was “vital” for the future. “I’m here for all this,” she said.

The company is hoping the former NBCUniversal head of advertising can win back some of the 500 major advertisers who reportedly suspended spending on the platform after Musk took over last October.

Iaccarino played a large role in the launch of NBCUniversal’s ad-supported streaming service Peacock and also oversaw the merger of NBC and Comcast that created NBCUniversal.

Musk, who is also the head of electric vehicle maker Tesla, said last week that the new boss will “focus first on business operations,” leaving him free to “focus on product design and new technologies” as executive chairman and chief technology officer.

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Musk aims to turn Twitter into a “comprehensive application” for users. Paolo Pescatore, technology analyst at PP Foresight, said: “Twitter needs stability and needs to restore trust.

“The appointment of Iaccarino shows a clear desire to increase advertising revenue. By directing usage to one destination, you increase engagement.”

He added, “With a better understanding of user habits, expect to see more hyper-personalized services, features and offerings.”

Making Twitter a “super app” will help it take advantage of business models including subscriptions, tiered pricing, and advertising.

Analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush, wealth manager, also said, “It will be an uphill Everest-like battle to monetize Twitter, but the strategy will now be designed and executed.”