Twitter has once again given the mantle to an ex-Google executive.
On Tuesday, the social messaging service named former Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette as the new chair of its board of directors, taking over for Omid Kordestani, another former Google executive.
Pichette had been on the company’s board operating as its lead independent director for the past year and a half, after a seven-year stint as Google’s cfo. Kordestani served as Twitter’s chairman since October 2015. He will move into a non-employee director role on June 1, but remain on the board.
“Given the strength and depth of Twitter’s management team and board, we believe that now is the right time to evolve our governance structure in-line with best practices,” said Pichette in a statement.
“Omid has been a valued member of our executive management and brought important leadership and stability to the team over the past five years,” he continued. “We are pleased to demonstrate our commitment to good governance and be in the position to make this important change. We look forward to continuing to benefit from Omid’s expertise on the board.”
Kordestani cast the transition in positive terms, saying in the company’s 8K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, “I have seen firsthand the significant changes Twitter has undertaken to strengthen and stabilize its leadership structure to achieve long-term sustainable growth and feel confident that I can now step back from my active role as executive chair.”
Presumably, Pichette’s ascension means that Twitter and its key investor, Elliott Management, have come to terms over the latter’s supposed desire to boot chief executive officer Jack Dorsey. No specifics on any such agreement were disclosed, but Dorsey, who is essentially the face of the platform, remains ceo.
Most recently, Twitter drew President Donald Trump’s ire for fact-checking his tweets, a move that was generally lauded for helping stem misinformation. The platform blocked another — the president’s infamous “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” tweet — citing policies against messages that incite violence. By contrast, Facebook’s hands-off approach to political messages has sparked controversy and led to a virtual walkout by employees on Monday.
Twitter’s position on presidential tweets isn’t likely to change with Pichette’s new role. The incoming chairman enthused about the platform’s latest moves in a recent tweet.
Signing off here in London after a long week and I must say I have never been so proud of serving Twitter – We prohibit the glorification of violence. https://t.co/NCDWyxyxl0
— Patrick Pichette (@pichette) May 29, 2020