From our correspondent in the United States,

If there's one person who can save Twitter's revenue, it's her. Chosen by Elon Musk to take the helm of the network as CEO in six weeks, Linda Yaccarino will face a double challenge: to bring back the big advertisers, who have suspended or reduced their activity on a network much less moderate than before, and to lead a technology company that has lost 80% of its employees. With an assertive personality and privileged contacts with major brands, the former boss of the NBCUniversal group advertising seems the ideal candidate.

A veteran of advertising and media

At 60, Linda Yaccarino spent two decades at Time Warner, and especially 12 years at NBCUniversal as advertising boss. Leading a team of 2000,100 people – and a figure close to the number of employees remaining at Twitter – she generated more than $2011 billion in advertising revenue, triple Twitter's revenue between 2022 and <>.

Nicknamed, according to the Wall Street Journal, "the velvet hammer", for her iron fist hidden under an affable air, Linda Yaccarino, from a family of Italian origin, participated in NBCU's biggest projects: she merged the advertising control rooms of all the group's channels and played a central role in the launch of Peacock. The group's streaming service funded largely by advertising.

According to the New York Times, she scored points by offering her advice privately to Elon Musk, and also in public, with a praised interview last April at the Possible marketing conference.

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Stop advertisers' bleeding

Advertisers "need to feel that the opportunity exists for them to influence what you're building," she told the billionaire. To appeal to them, it is necessary to "make Twitter a place where they will be enthusiastic about spending more money", focusing on "product development, security and content moderation". This is the subject that has angered since the acquisition of Musk, who has made freedom of expression his priority, and has authorized the return of Donald Trump and many far-right accounts that had been banned for slippage.

Nearly half of the top 100 advertisers asked for a timeout, including General Motors, Pfizer and Volkswagen. According to Insider Intelligence estimates, Twitter could see its revenue fall by 2.40% in 2023, a drop of 40%.

To turn the network around, Yaccarino could bet on sports, taking advantage of his experience at NBCUniversal, regular broadcaster of the Olympics. In a tweet, she suggested to Elon Musk to relaunch Periscope, the streaming app shelved by Twitter, by the Olympic Games in Paris next year.

A political sensibility compatible with Musk's

Some far-right trolls have criticized her appointment, accusing her of being a "neoliberal wokeist" because she put forward her pro-vaccine/mask positions during the Covid pandemic. Linda Yaccarino is also a member of the media committee of the World Economic Forum (Davos). But her affinities, given her Twitter activity, seem to lean rather to the right, even if she is careful not to offend anyone.

Out of more than 1,000 tweets, reviewed by 20 Minutes, Yaccarino never mentioned Trump, Biden, Clinton or Obama. In 2018, she congratulated then-Senate nominee Mitt Romney in Utah. His "likes" are more revealing. She has heartily marked dozens of Musk's tweets, including several of his outings against single-mindedness or censorship, which he likens to George Orwell's dystopias or Fahrenheit 451.

The leader does not hide her faith and admiration for the pope. And she liked several anti-Biden tweets from conservative figures, including radio host Larry Elder, Republican primary "anti-woke" candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, as well as other posts by influential alt-right figure Jack Posobiec.

The executive also follows several "MAGA" accounts, including conspiracy lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood. If this does not mean that she subscribes to their positions, former colleagues assure the Wall Street Journal that her political beliefs are a good "fit" with those of Elon Musk. The union is perhaps more than a marriage of convenience.

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