Twitter’s new CEO is an NBCUniversal executive with deep ad industry ties
Elon Musk confirmed that the new CEO for Twitter will be NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino, an executive with deep ties to the advertising industry.
“I am excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” Musk wrote in a Friday tweet. He added that Yaccarino “will focus primarily on business operations” while Musk will stay closely connected to product design and new technology.
Before that announcement, NBCUniversal said Friday that Yaccarino would step down immediately as chairwoman for global advertising and partnerships.
Musk, who bought Twitter last fall and has been running it since, has long insisted that he would step down as top executive at the company, which is now called X Corp.
Few expect Musk to remove himself from the decision making process at Twitter, however.
“While he’s stepping back from the CEO title, Musk is far from likely to step back from calling the product shots,” said Mike Proulx, research director at Forrester Research.
Yaccarino, with deep roots in the advertising industry, could be a linchpin in Twitter’s future.
Luring advertisers is critical for Musk and Twitter after many fled in the early months after his takeover of the social media platform, fearing harm to their brands in the ensuing chaos. Musk said in late April that advertisers had returned, but provided no details.
Mark DiMassimo, founder and creative chief of ad agency DiGo, said Yaccarino successfully integrated and digitized ad sales at Comcast and NBC — and that her track record of cross-selling ads across different platforms could appeal to Musk as he tries to transform Twitter from a social media company to a bigger media platform.
Yaccarino worked at NBCUniversal for nearly 12 years — with her team generating more than $100 billion in ad sales since 2011, her company bio notes.
According to LinkedIn, Yaccarino previously served as NBC’s chair for advertising and client partnerships and as president of cable entertainment and digital advertising sales. Prior to her time with NBC, Yaccarino worked at global entertainment company Turner for almost two decades.
Last month, Yaccarino interviewed Musk on a Miami stage last month in front of hundreds of advertisers.
“If anyone can translate the Musk vision into advantages for marketers she’ll be able to do it,” DiMassimo said Friday, prior to Musk’s confirmation. “Even though there’s skepticism and all marketers live in the ‘show me’ state right now with regard to Twitter, if in fact she does go to Twitter this is a powerfully reassuring move.”
Proulx added that advertising is not the only challenge that Twitter’s new CEO will face – after all, Musk has “fundamentally altered” Twitter both as a product and a community, arguably “for the worse.”
Musk’s tenure at Twitter’s helm has been chaotic. He began his first day firing the company’s top executives, followed by roughly 80% of its staff, which has meant that Twitter has far fewer engineers to ensure that the site is running smoothly and far fewer content moderators to help rid it of hate speech, animal cruelty and graphic violence.
He’s upended the platform’s verification system and has scaled back safeguards against the spread of misinformation. It’s been some of these changes — along with Musk’s own penchant for spreading misinformation and engaging with prominent conspiracy theorists and far-right figures — that analysts say soured many advertisers on the platform.
Regaining advertisers’ trust will require stabilizing Twitter and ensuring that key product decisions are made thoughtfully and deliberately and not, as Musk has often been known to do, on the spur of the moment, inspired by a fan’s tweet or a passing thought. Industry insiders describe Yaccarino as a marketer’s leader with key advertising expertise, but if she’s to succeed on the business side, she’ll need Musk’s buy-in on the product side.
Musk’s policy changes have led to divisions among users, some who have left the platform. There was more of that on Friday, but from some of Musk’s most boisterous supporters.
Some focused on Yaccarino’s affliation with The World Economic Forum, an organization that Musk has previously criticized — suggesting that this could signal movement away from Musk’s “2.0 values” for Twitter. On Thursday, however, Musk said that the platform’s “commitment to open source transparency and accepting a wide range of viewpoints remains unchanged.”
Others have also questioned Yaccarino’s political leanings. In 2018, Donald Trump appointed Yaccarino to serve on his Council on Sports Fitness and Nutrition for two years. As Ad Council chair in 2021 and 2022, she also worked with the Biden White House to help create a coronavirus vaccination campaign that reached over 200 million Americans.
Last November, Musk was questioned in court about how he splits his time among Tesla and his other companies, including SpaceX and Twitter. Musk had to testify in the trial in Delaware’s Court of Chancery over a shareholder’s challenge to his potentially $55 billion compensation plan as CEO of the electric car company.
Musk said he never intended to be CEO of Tesla, and that he didn’t want to be chief executive of any other companies either, preferring to see himself as an engineer. Musk also said at the time that he expected an organizational restructuring of Twitter to be completed in the next week or so. It’s been nearly six months since he said that.
Bantering with Twitter followers late last year, Musk expressed pessimism about the prospects for a new CEO, saying that person “must like pain a lot” to run a company that “has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy.”
“No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor,” Musk tweeted at the time.
AP Business Writers Mae Anderson and Matt O’Brien contributed to this report.
Wyatte Grantham-philips And Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press
Air Canada says it gave ‘erroneous’ response on delays compensation – Global News
Air Canada says it will offer compensation to travellers who were affected by flight delays caused by technical problems in recent weeks.
The airline, which had initially faced questions over messages reportedly sent to passengers saying they would not be entitled to compensation, has said its earlier response was “erroneous.”
“Air Canada is offering compensation in line with APPR (Air Passenger Protection Regulations) compensation levels for flights which were affected by the IT outage. Some passengers had received erroneous responses from us, and we are in the process of recontacting them with the correct responses,” an Air Canada spokesperson told Global News.
Some passengers had received messages from the airline, saying the tech issues were out of its hands. The company has since said that message was an error.
A Transport Canada spokesperson told Global News that changes made to the APPR recently made compensation for passengers mandatory, simplified the complaints process and put the onus on airlines instead of passengers.
“We have been in touch with Air Canada, and they have assured us they will be compensating passengers whose flights were impacted by the recent IT issues,” Transport Canada spokesperson Nadine Ramadan said.
The country’s largest carrier has struggled with intermittent computer problems over the past 15 days.
On May 25, it delayed more than half its flights due to a “technical issue” with the system that the airline uses to communicate with aircraft and monitor their performance. On June 1, it delayed or cancelled more than 500 flights — over three-quarters of its trips that day, according to tracking service FlightAware — due to “IT issues.”
That same day, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra stressed the carrier’s compensation responsibilities to its guests.
Air Canada disruptions: continued delays, cancellations stir frustration among nationwide customers
“Air Canada has obligations to passengers who are impacted because it is caused by things that the airline has control over,” he told reporters June 1, hours after the IT issues resurfaced.
In April, Alghabra laid out measures to toughen penalties and tighten loopholes around traveller compensation as part of a proposed overhaul of Canada’s passenger rights charter.
If passed as part of the budget bill, the reforms will put the onus on airlines to show a flight disruption is caused by safety concerns or reasons outside their control, with specific examples to be drawn up by the Canadian Transportation Agency as a list of exceptions around compensation.
“It will no longer be the passenger who will have to prove that he or she is entitled to compensation. It will now be the airline that will need to prove that it does not have to pay for it,” Alghabra said on April 24.
Currently, a passenger is entitled to between $125 and $1,000 in compensation for a three-hour-plus delay or a cancellation made within 14 days of the scheduled departure — unless the disruption stems from events outside the airline’s control, such as weather or a safety issue including mechanical problems. The amount varies depending on the size of the carrier and the length of the delay.
— with files from the Canadian Press
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© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
WestJet shutting down discount airline Swoop – CBC News
WestJet is shutting down its budget airline, Swoop.
The company made the announcement in a news release Friday, noting that the ratification of its recent deal with its pilots allows it to integrate all of its staff at various airlines into a single banner.
“As negotiated in the collective agreement, the WestJet Group will now begin integration efforts of its ultra-low-cost airline, Swoop,” the airline said.
“Through an expedited process, the airline anticipates a full integration into its mainline operations by the end of October. To avoid traveller impact, Swoop will operate its existing network through to the end of its published schedule on October 28. Swoop employees will move to WestJet.”
The move comes as the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) announced its members had ratified their recent pact with the airline, one that brings in 24 per cent raises over four years, and puts Swoop pilots on a similar footing as WestJet’s in terms of seniority and compensation issues.
The union said 87 per cent voted in favour of the deal, “which goes a long way to recognizing the value and expertise the pilots bring to their airline and will help solve many of WestJet’s pilot attraction and retention issues.”
Swoop was launched nearly five years ago, in June 2018. It offered heavily discounted rates with few frills to cost-conscious travellers. A handful of other so-called ultra low-cost carriers have taken to Canada’s skies in recent years, including Flair, Lynx and Canada Jetlines.
While Swoop’s demise will remove a major player in Canada’s discount travel space, WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech says the airline will continue to offer affordable options.
“This integration will enhance our ability to serve a broader spectrum of guests,” he said. “Instead of only 16 aircraft serving the ultra-low-cost market, each aircraft, in our 180-strong fleet, will offer ultra-affordable travel options through to a premium inflight experience.”
But ultimately the news is a bad development for consumers, according to John Gradek, a lecturer at McGill University who studies the airline industry.
“It has implications in terms of the choices that Canadians will have in terms of an alternative ultra-low-cost carrier,” he told CBC News.
Although it started in 1996 as a regionally focused airline with generally cheaper prices, WestJet is no longer a discount airline, Gradek says. “The loss of Swoop basically eliminates a carrier that was specializing in low cost and it’s going to be a loss to Canadian travellers.”
More moves to come?
Gradek says it is not surprising to see WestJet make the move, as one of the main advantages of Swoop in the first place was its lower cost base.
“One of the conditions for creating Swoop was to have a different salary scale,” he said. “With the ALPA agreement that differential that allows you to have some competitive advantage price wise disappears.”
Gradek says he would not be surprised to see WestJet do something similar with another discount airline it recently bought, Sunwing.
“WestJet has choices — they’re now looking at Sunwing and that’s the next shoe that’s going to fall,” he said. “how far do you take this integration that started with Swoop — do you do the same thing with Sunwing?”
GM and Ford to use Tesla’s plug, all but killing CCS in North America
Rival auto manufacturers GM and Ford have signed on to use Tesla’s NACS charging connector for their future electric cars in North America, a decision that has effectively signed the death certificate for the competing CCS1 charging connector standard.
We’re still in the early days of electric vehicles, but the rate of adoption is rapidly increasing as more manufacturers produce EVs in different shapes and sizes and prices, and as customers buy them up with vigor. And so there is a lot of jockeying happening not just for buyers, but for infrastructure to support them. The most interesting bifurcation has happened in charging standards with the division led primarily by Tesla.
Back in 2012 when Tesla unveiled its all-electric Model S sedan it did so with a new charging connector. At the time it was a proprietary connector, but it was already much more impressive and elegant than the highly engineered J1772 standard connector or almost comically bulky CCS1 and CHAdeMO standards that also offered DC charging. Tesla’s connector did all of that in a fraction of the footprint, with far less complexity in design or use. Yet, for the past decade, Tesla’s been trucking along with their own connector in North American markets while all other manufacturers remained committed to CCS1.
(Tesla was mandated by law to use the Type 2 IEC 60309 and CCS2 connectors for cars sold in Europe, and the GB/T connector in China)
Tesla accounts for more than half of DC fast chargers in the USA — surely a selling point for Ford and GM
This led to the bifurcation of the US EV market, with Tesla leading in electric car sales ever since their first cars went on sale, and leading in the deployment of chargers with their expansive but exclusive Supercharger network. Tesla’s head start in charger installation gets us to where we are today, with Tesla’s Superchargers accounting for more than half of the DC fast chargers installed in the USA.
That’s all started to change. It began with the relatively quiet November 2022 announcement from Tesla that they were opening up the Tesla charging connector to other manufacturers as the NACS — the North American Charging Standard. But the big news arrived late last month with Ford switching to the Tesla NCAS connector in 2025. And now today, chief American rival GM revealed they are also adopting NACS. Both plan to make adapters for the existing CCS-equipped chargers, and Tesla already sells their own CSS adapter, and also has equipped a handful of its own Tesla-plugged charging stations with adapters to support CCS vehicles.
Tesla, Ford, and GM today account for roughly 3/4 of all EV sales in the USA and the top three sales spots. This is a tipping point for EVs in the USA and thus North America — in the span of a few months Tesla’s NACS connector went from proprietary to the winning option. There are still other EV manufacturers that remain publicly committed to the CCS connector, including VW, Mercedes, Kia, and Rivian. Ford and GM are huge swings for NACS and will almost certainly lead to other companies adapting the standard.
Certainly, charging companies like Electrify America and ChargePoint are also going to race to install NACS connectors in the next two years so that the fleets of differently receptacled EVs can utilize their currently CCS-only chargers. Tesla will also have to invest in upgrading their existing charger stations with longer cables, though, since they’re basically the only manufacturer placing their charging port at the corner of the car. Charging a Ford F-150 at one of those adapter-equipped stations didn’t go so well because of the short Supercharger cables.
GM’s adoption of NACS signals the end of the line for CCS1. The standards body made some angry noises when Ford jumped ship, but the loss of GM means they no longer have America’s largest auto manufacturer and popular and well-known brands like Chevrolet, GMC, Ram, Buick, and Cadillac. Alas, CCS1, few people even knew your clunkiness. NACS will reign supreme from here on out.
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