The search isn’t over for Twitter’s board: Now that the company has officially selected Jack Dorsey as the permanent CEO of Twitter, it has to interview candidates for a reconfigured board.
Twitter announced Monday that former CEO Dick Costolo resigned from the board effectively last week. Jack Dorsey will keep his board seat, but give up the chairman position. Both Costolo’s seat and the role of the chairman are going to be filled by an outside candidate.
Many also expect that there will be additional changes to the board in the coming months; the board had gotten massive criticism for a prolonged CEO search process that repeatedly led to Twitter’s stock tank below its IPO price.
Boards don’t usually have day-to-day involvement into a company’s business, but their composition can nonetheless be telling for the strategic position of a company. Which is why it may be a good time to revisit Twitter’s current board.
Here’s who is on Twitter’s board as of this week:
- Jack Dorsey. Man of the hour, CEO and co-founder of Twitter.
- Peter Chernin. Longtime Hollywood insider. Chernin joined Twitter’s board in late 2012. He is the founder and chairman of movie and TV show production company Chernin Entertainment as well as The Chernin Group. Chernin served as the president and COO of News Corp from 1996 to 2009, and can be seen as one of the strongest links between Twitter’s board and Hollywood — a link that has become critically important as the company is looking to attract brand advertisers to its service.
- Peter Currie. Netscape veteran. Curie joined Twitter’s board in 2010, and has previously been on the board of companies like Sun Microsystems, Clearwire and Cnet. He also has executive experience in the tech space, including a stint at Netscape, and was part of Twitter’s CEO search committee.
- Peter Fenton. Long-time Dorsey confidant. Fenton has been on the board since 2009, and is also on the board of numerous other tech companies, with a focus on infrastructure and cloud computing. He’s the board’s link to Silicon Valley.
- David Rosenblatt. Ad man. Rosenblatt joined Twitter’s board in late 2010. He used to be the CEO of Doubleclick, and later led display advertising at Google. He is the board’s strongest link to the world of advertising, which is critical as the company is looking to keep up its revenue growth.
- Evan Williams. Co-founder. Williams has been there from the very beginning, and hired Dorsey as one of the first developers for Twitter’s predecessor Odeo. Williams is Twitter’s largest shareholder, and was once the company’s CEO himself — until he was ousted by Dorsey.
- Marjorie Scardino. Former publishing magnate. Scardino used to be the CEO of Pearson, and before that CEO of The Economist Group. She is also Twitter’s first female board member.
Twitter’s current board has some of the key industries that are important to the company covered, be it technology, Hollywood, advertising or traditional publishing.
However, it’s also very male, completely white, and not very international. That’s a problem as Twitter is looking to expand beyond is core audience — something the board seems to be acutely aware of. Asked who the company is looking for to head the board, Currie had this to say during a call Monday: “We are looking for public company experience, diverse perspectives. I think global operating experience would be very helpful, and product leaders would be ideal, albeit hard to find.”
Giving that wording, we shouldn’t be too surprised to see Twitter pick someone with an international, possibly Asian perspective that could help the company accelerate global growth. Then again, if the CEO search is any indication, then it will take some time for Twitter to figure out who should lead the board.
But whomever the company will select as chairman — and what other changes it may make the board in the coming months — will tell us a lot about what kind of company Twitter wants to be, and where it wants to take its cues for as it tries to recapture user growth.