NBCUniversal shook up its ad-sales executive suite with just days to go before the company is slated to present its next slate of programing to advertisers.
Linda Yaccarino, the company’s longtime chairman of advertising and partnerships, is leaving the company. She has entered talks to become CEO of Twitter, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mark Marshall, a veteran executive who leads advertising sales for all of NBCU’s national media properties, has been named interim chairman of ad sales for the company. He will report to Mark Lazarus who oversees NBCU’s TV and streaming businesses.
“We are grateful for Linda Yaccarino’s leadership of NBCUniversal’s Advertising Sales business, and for the innovative team and platform she has built. Linda has made countless contributions to the company during her twelve year tenure, and we wish her the best,” said Mike Cavanagh, the president of Comcast who is overseeing NBCU on an interim basis.
NBCUniversal will try to woo millions of dollars from advertiser ranging from Apple to Zyrtec on Monday, all part of the industry’s annual “upfront” market, when U.S. TV networks try to sell the bulk of their commercial inventory to Madison Avenue. Yaccarino has taken the stage at NBCU’s event. held at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, for years. On Monday, she will not.
“It has been an absolute honor to be part of Comcast NBCUniversal and lead the most incredible team. We’ve transformed our company and the entire industry—and I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished together, and grateful to my colleagues and mentors, especially Brian Roberts, Mike Cavanagh and the entire NBCU leadership team,” Yaccarino said in a statement.
Yaccarino had reported to Jeff Shell, the NBCU CEO who was ousted recently in the wake of a complaint of sexual harassment being filed against him by a reporter working at CNBC’s international operations. Marshall will report to Lazarus, long seen as NBCU’s second-in-command. The executive is no stranger to the advertising world, having supervised a similar operation for WarnerMedia’s collection of cable TV networks back when those assets were known as Turner.
More to come…