Linda Yaccarino is the Chairman of Advertising and Partnerships at NBCUniversal
Behind any show, on any screen, there’s an entire economic infrastructure at work. And no person has had a bigger hand in shaping it than Linda Yaccarino. As Chairman of Advertising and Partnerships at NBCUniversal, Yaccarino is responsible for managing over $10B in revenue annually and stewarding the company’s industry-leading portfolio of linear networks, digital platforms, distribution partnerships, and client relationships. Yaccarino, with the help of her 1,500-person team, connects established and emerging brands to hundreds of millions of viewers—driving economic impact for not just her company, but entire industries.
What brought you to Davos 2019?
Businesses face a whole host of changes brought on by technology, but one of the most pronounced is globalization. As a society, we’ve become more connected than ever before. And in order to succeed in this new landscape, businesses need to join the global conversation, appeal to the global citizen, and embrace a global mindset.
Attending Davos was a chance to work together with other business leaders on some of the biggest challenges and opportunities we face today. As a global company that prides itself on embracing innovation, it was important for NBCUniversal to have a seat at the table—not only so we could share our perspectives, but so we could learn from others and refine our own global strategy.
Defining leadership moment at Davos:
Davos convenes the most influential political, economic, and social leaders from all over the world. The good news is that in 2019, a historic number of those leaders were women. The bad news is that we still only made up 22 percent of delegates. There’s been progress, but we still have a long way to go until we approach parity. There were, however, telling signs that we’re on the right track. One of them was the Female Quotient Lounge at Davos. I loved participating on a panel with inspiring female executives and discussing how women in leadership roles can challenge traditional notions of power and elevate new voices in the workplace.
Personal motivation to advocate for women and girls:
As I look back on my career, I can think of a few times early on when I didn’t pursue an opportunity because I believed I wasn’t “ready,” or because I thought I had to check every single box before I went for something I wanted. It’s during those times I wish I would have had a little voice in my head drowning out the doubt and telling me to trust my own abilities and ambition. Today, I want to be that voice for women and girls. What’s more, I want them to know that being a woman has been one of the greatest advantages of my career. The qualities we typically associate with women—relationship building, collaboration, and problem-solving—are the very same qualities that made me an effective salesperson and executive. Women and girls need to know that while there might not be as many of us in the boardroom (we’re working on it!)—we are natural leaders. Trust your instincts, be brave and be heard. It’s the only way we’ll accelerate progress today and pave the way for future generations tomorrow.
Where can people learn more about you and your key projects?
I would direct you to a website, but honestly, if you really want to see the things I do on a daily basis—all you have to do is turn on your TV. Or your phone, computer, or tablet. If there’s a screen, I can promise you, NBCUniversal is doing something groundbreaking with it. Thanks to new technologies, new platforms, and new kinds of stories, there has never been a better time to be in media. And as we continue to blaze new trails, I find myself in awe of my co-workers, including and especially so many world-class women leaders, who are reshaping this business in ways that, just a few years ago, we never would have never thought possible.
I want women and girls to know that are natural leaders. They should trust their instincts, be brave and be heard. It’s the only way we’ll accelerate progress today and pave the way for future generations tomorrow.