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May 12, 2023
The Broadsheet Newsletter: Movers & Shakers
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Man Group has appointed its first female CEO, a European bureaucrat is turning into an internet meme, and Elon Musk says he’s picked a female CEO for Twitter—but won’t say who. Have a great weekend.
– Chief Twit. Twitter CEO Elon Musk dropped a bombshell yesterday: “Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!”
“She” was the biggest clue in the otherwise terse message that didn’t identify his successor. Multiple media outlets have filled in the blank: NBCUniversal head of advertising Linda Yaccarino, chair of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, is reportedly in talks to take the job.
A tech CEO told Fortune that Yaccarino is “amazing.” Tech journalist Kara Swisher, who was early to suggest Yaccarino as a contender, described the NBCUniversal veteran as an “ad powerhouse” who is “well liked.” The Wall Street Journal reports Yaccarino’s tough negotiating tactics have earned her the nickname “the velvet hammer.”
Yaccarino has worked at NBCUniversal for more than a decade. She’s pushed for better ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising and was instrumental in the launch of NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, the Journal reports.
Her advertising expertise—she oversees approximately $13 billion in annual ad spend—is certainly compatible with the demands of the Twitter CEO job. Advertisers have fled Twitter since Elon Musk bought it, fearing his looser moderation policies will associate their brands with offensive content.
Twitter’s new CEO will also take over a significantly reduced workforce—the result of massive layoffs—and a platform that seems increasingly prone to technological glitches.
All told, the Twitter CEO role represents “the mother of all glass cliff cleanup jobs,” argues New York Times opinion columnist Lydia Polgreen. “A man has made one hell of a mess and he hires a woman to clean it up.”
Then again, if we take Musk at his word—he can be such a goof—his working alongside a powerful woman is not totally out of character. After all, Gwynne Shotwell runs the day-to-day operations at SpaceX, where she’s president and COO, and Robyn Denholm has served as Tesla chair since 2018.
As of early Friday, Musk hadn’t yet confirmed the name of his female successor. For now, we’ll be glued to his Twitter feed for more hints—perhaps as he intended.
The Broadsheet is Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Subscribe here.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
– Profitability and growth. Startup Alto Pharmacy says it is looking to raise capital as it pursues a path to acquisition. The prescription procurement and delivery service has raised $550 million in venture capital to date. CEO Alicia Boler Davis acknowledged that the fundraising space is much different today than a few years ago, and companies need to show profitability, not just growth. Axios
– First female. Man Group, the world’s largest publicly-listed hedge fund, has appointed a woman as CEO for the first time in its 240-year history. Robyn Grew has been at the firm since 2009 and held Man Group’s COO and president roles. Her appointment comes months after Anne Wade became the firm’s first female chairperson. Bloomberg
– 300 insults. The former head of a now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board at the Department of Homeland Security is suing Fox News for defamation after allegedly demeaning her 300 times over eight months. Nina Jankowicz, a prominent specialist in Russian misinformation, left her job trying to defend against foreign misinformation campaigns because of the onslaught of criticism. New York Times
– Reforming sustainability. Women’s clothing company Reformation, led by CEO Hali Borenstein, is gearing up for a public offering. The fashion brand that promises sustainable practices has doubled sales over the last four years and become profitable. An IPO could be a test for fashion brands that prioritize sustainability. Previous efforts by brands like Allbirds have lost momentum. Bloomberg
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Jenny Tartikoff left her post as EVP of global communications at Paramount Pictures. Spot Insurance has appointed its cofounder and COO Maria Goy as CEO. Patricia Hamlin has joined TaskHuman as VP of customer lifecycle marketing. Dalia Bauman has joined CoVenture as VP on the hybrid capital team. VC firm Neo has brought on Suzanne Xie as partner.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
– Same work, less pay. Tennis has introduced equal prize money for men and women at its four Grand Slam tournaments, but not all competitions are following suit. At the Italian Open in Rome this week, men will play for $8.5 million while women will compete for $3.9 million. New York Times
– Bureaucrat-turned-meme. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson has become unusually visible for a European bureaucrat because of her hawkish approach of using technological surveillance to stop child sexual abuse. She has put forward a bill that would scan messages on encrypted services, but technology companies worry it will undermine individual privacy. Wired
– Breadwinners. As more women become the high-earners in their families, they’re chipping away at historical norms that said female breadwinners were more likely to divorce. In the 1960s and 1970s, opposite-sex couples in which the wife earned the same or more than her husband were 70% more likely to split than couples with a male breadwinner. In the 1990s, that rate dropped to 4%. Wall Street Journal
– We’re live. Companies from Amazon to Walmart to Poshmark have launched live shopping features that allow people to buy apparel advertised in live time. The model’s popularity in China has executives hopeful for future growth. “We believe shopping is not just about transaction. It’s about experience,” says Liyia Wu, CEO and founder of the live shopping startup ShopShops. New York Times