Twitter owner Elon Musk was interviewed in April by Linda Yaccarino, who has stepped down as global advertising chief at NBCUniversal and is reported to be joining Twitter as CEO

San Francisco (AFP) - A top advertising executive stepped down from NBCUniversal on Friday and is understood to be first in line to become the next CEO of Twitter, replacing owner Elon Musk.

Musk on Thursday said he has hired a woman to replace him as boss of Twitter and its newly named X Corporation parent, but did not give a name.

A statement from NBCUniversal said global advertising chief Linda Yaccarino had resigned from her role as global ad sales chief “effective immediately”.

US media reports said Musk had selected Yaccarino for the Twitter CEO role and was in talks to confirm the hiring.

Yaccarino’s departure from the company that owns NBC, Universal and Telemundo came a few weeks after she interviewed Musk at a marketing conference in Miami on April 18.

According to the company’s website, at NBCUniversal she led a team of 2,000 people and “reengineered the advertising business for the 21st century.”

Yaccarino is one of the advertising industry’s most respected executives, but will face an uphill battle trying to attract major companies to come back to the platform.

Musk has fully owned Twitter since late October and has repeatedly courted controversy as CEO, sacking most of its staff, readmitting far-right figures to the platform, suspending journalists and charging for previously free services.

“Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter,” Musk said in his tweet on Thursday, adding that the unnamed executive would start in about six weeks.

If Musk follows through on the announcement, he will be belatedly fulfilling the promise he made to honor the results of his Twitter poll in December.

A total of 57.5 percent of more than 17 million accounts voted for him to step down.

Wall Street had grown frustrated that Twitter was luring Musk away from his other businesses, and share prices in Tesla rose on news he had found a CEO.