New Twitter CEO Taps NBCU Exec Joe Benarroch

The appointment suggests other NBCU advertising leaders could follow.

An effigy of Elon Musk is seen with a Twitter logo
Twitter appears to be seeking out ad sales executives. NurPhoto via Getty Images

Joe Benarroch, formerly an advertising executive at NBCUniversal, joined Twitter yesterday (June 6) as a business operations executive, according to his LinkedIn. The job change follows the appointment of Linda Yaccarino, another NBCU ad executive, as chief executive of Twitter last month.

“Welcome to the flock,” Yaccarino posted on Twitter. “From one bird to the next.”

The move suggests that not only will more NBCU ad managers follow Yaccarino to Twitter, but so will executives from other major digital advertising companies, said Tony Filson, who founded his own media recruiting company 38 years ago. Top digital advertising companies include Google, Meta, Amazon and Microsoft, according to BCC Research, a market research company.

Twitter recently lost two key executives—Ella Irwin, head of trust and safety, and A.J. Brown, head of brand safety and ad quality. Despite Elon Musk’s claims that Twitter’s revenue is on the upswing, the company has regularly fallen short of its weekly sales projections, according to the New York Times. The company’s advertising revenue from April 1 through the first week of May is down 59 percent from the same period last year, or by $88 million, the Times reported yesterday. Twitter relies primarily on advertising to earn revenue, so compiling a team of ad sales workers could drive the company’s growth.

Can Twitter attract top talent?

Advertising executives might be interested in joining Twitter because of its potential for growth, Filson told Observer. While Musk’s antics have turned many brands away, Twitter’s advertising offerings were lacking prior to his purchase. Social media advertising as a whole is growing, according to Statista, suggesting there is potential for Twitter to become a major ad provider. “The growth Twitter is going to experience under better management is substantial,” Filson said.

The pitch to join Twitter is especially compelling for ad sales employees in broadcast and cable, according to Filson. “Those properties are falling like crazy,” he said. Traditional television networks have had to increasingly compete with streaming platforms that are eating at the television market share. Companies like NBCUniversal have both streaming platforms and television channels, but others, like Fox, don’t.

Despite reports of Twitter’s decreased revenue, it has the budget to attract advertising talent from top companies, Filson told Observer. Sales executives typically earn their money on commission and bonuses, so as long as those packages are appealing, high levels of upfront compensation aren’t necessary, he said.

Who is Joe Benarroch?

Benarroch has worked with Yaccarino since 2018 when he joined NBCU as senior vice president of communications, advertising and partnerships. After one year, the company promoted him to an executive vice president. In this role, he reported to Yaccarino, then-chairman of global advertising and partnerships.

Before NBCU, Benarroch worked in a variety of communications positions. He spent six years beginning in 2012 at Facebook, now called Meta, as the director of corporate communications for international advertising and small-and-medium-sized businesses. In this role, he focused on Facebook’s money-making strategy outside the U.S., advertised the company’s products to news sites, and helped create Community Boost, a program educating entrepreneurs and small businesses on social media advertising.

Prior to his time at Facebook, Benarroch worked at Interpublic Group of Companies, an advertising giant. He spent three years as the senior vice president of corporate affairs, where he headed marketing and communications. He also spent seven years beginning in 2000 at Starcom, a Chicago-based advertising agency. He worked in various associate director positions, including in strategic planning, business development and marketing. At Starcom, he developed the communications strategy for Luxottica Retail brands, which include LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban.

New Twitter CEO Taps NBCU Exec Joe Benarroch