NBCUniversal CEO Linda Yaccarino

Linda Yaccarino is a media executive who has spent her career at some of America’s biggest entertainment companies. A 1985 graduate from Penn State, Linda revolutionized NBCUniversal’s advertising business for 21st-century advertising opportunities while creating partnerships with YouTube, Twitter and Buzzfeed companies like Twitter and Buzzfeed.

NBCUniversal’s Chairman of Global Advertising and Partnerships

Linda Yaccarino Wikipedia earned her place as the company’s ad sales chief with her ability to sell ads on an immense scale. She helped guide NBCUniversal through the transition into digital, as television audiences moved online; at Radio City Music Hall last year, she persuaded advertisers that advertisements in its Peacock streaming service weren’t an afterthought.

She’s also part of the World Economic Forum Taskforce on the Future of Work and serves on Ascena Retail Group’s board. Yaccarino will be replaced at NBCUniversal by Mark Marshall, who has been serving in that capacity since May as chairman of advertising sales and partnerships for all national media platforms, managing advance ad-sales market “upfronts,” reporting directly to Mark Lazarus who oversees TV & streaming division.

Early this week, Code reported that Yaccarino may soon become CEO of Twitter; she currently works at Comcast-owned company. If successful, the new CEO would report directly to Mike Cavanagh.

One Portfolio

Yaccarino stands in contrast to the dramatic captains seen on Bravo’s “Below Deck Mediterranean,” taking an even-handed and sometimes blunt approach when it comes to her work as the revenue chief for NBCUniversal’s $10 billion-a-year portfolio of linear and digital networks, platforms, distribution partnerships and client relationships.

Yaccarino made history when she became the first chief to launch an integrated portfolio of broadcast, cable, and digital assets into market – an initiative which quickly became industry standard – leading a 1,500-person team to connect brands with audiences while driving economic impact for not just her company but entire industries.

She has become an influential voice in the media business community, participating in many public interviews and lending her perspective at private events like Khanference. No matter if speaking on CNBC or speaking directly to investors, her message remains consistent: “This is a difficult time, but we are doing the best that we can.”

One Platform

Yaccarino has served NBCUniversal’s industry-leading portfolio of linear networks and digital platforms for nearly 10 years – connecting brands with hundreds of millions of consumers – as the head of Sales, Advanced Technology, Insights & Measurement as well as Business Marketing teams.

Yaccarino, an experienced US media executive known for her forceful negotiating abilities and unflinching commitment to challenging projects, spearheaded TV industry’s push for new methods of assessing viewers – even unifying rivals to form an alternative rating system to Nielsen ratings.

Friends say Yaccarino possesses an empathetic and trustworthy persona, making her ideal to lead Twitter in regaining advertisers’ trust. “She understands what advertisers need to see and hear to get back on board,” according to Dave Campanelli of media buying firm Horizon Media. In her first step she will assemble a new client council that gives big marketers input into Twitter X product roadmap development plans, adds Campanelli.

Data-Driven Commercial Innovations

Yaccarino’s vision goes beyond simply using data; she envisions using it to produce new products and services. One key component of her approach is data-driven innovation (DDI). DDI projects arise out of observations made within datasets, with an aim of meeting specific measurable needs or problems that have emerged from them.

NBCUniversal’s Attention Lab uses eye-tracking technology to detect dips and spikes in viewer attention, giving marketers insight into how their ads perform across both linear and digital platforms. This data allows them to optimize campaign creative for maximum audience impact and brand affinity.

But not all data-driven products and systems can truly innovate. Consider the nappies and beer story: it is a fantastic example of data driven optimisation but not innovation. Try to figure out which is which; few people get this right! Ultimately, successful DDD requires multidisciplinary teams with both innovation process knowledge and an in-depth knowledge of data science and AI.

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