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Why Linda Yaccarino took on the wildest job in Silicon Valley

By Hannah Murphy

27 Sep 2023 · 21 min read

Linda Yaccarino was in full flow when a text message from a friend stopped her in her tracks. It was May 11 and the head of global advertising for NBCUniversal was rehearsing for upfronts, the annual showcase of forthcoming television programming designed to woo marketers. The event, due to take place four days later at Radio City Music Hall, would put Yaccarino in her comfort zone: centre stage.

Prepping in a conference room on the 51st floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the New York headquarters of NBC Studios, Yaccarino had been making edits to her teleprompter text with a small group including her deputy, Joe Benarroch. As they worked, Yaccarino had unknowingly become the subject of a global breaking news story after Elon Musk tweeted: “Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!”

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