Twitter chief targeted by activist investor - Mobile World Live

Twitter chief targeted by activist investor

02 MAR 2020

Elliott Management reportedly pushed for a shake-up at Twitter, including the removal of CEO Jack Dorsey, as it emerged the activist investor had amassed a $1 billion stake in the social media giant.

Bloomberg broke the news, reporting Elliott Management nominated four directors to Twitter’s board as part of a restructure ahead of the latter’s annual meeting, which is scheduled to take place in May.

Aside from concerns about Twitter’s governance under Dorsey, Elliott Management took issue with the fact the executive also serves a CEO of fintech company Square, which he founded.

Dorsey owns around 13 per cent of Square, notably larger than his stake in Twitter, which stands at 2 per cent.

Shake-up
Financial Times reported Elliott Management built a 4 per cent stake in Twitter, ranking it among the company’s top-ten shareholders.

Sources told the newpaper the investor had already flagged its concerns about Dorsey’s interests in Square to Twitter’s board, worries which had reportedly also been raised by other investors at the company.

Chatter around Dorsey’s focus on Twitter also ramped in 2019, as he outlined plans to move to Africa for six months to explore opportunities in blockchain and digital currencies.

Dorsey was appointed CEO of Twitter in 2015, overseeing a decline of 6.2 per cent in share price in the meantime.

Despite attracting an increasing monthly user base, which rose 20 per cent year-on-year in Q4 2019, the company has long struggled to convert its popularity into advertising cash.

Elliott Management is now seeking to change this. The company has a reputation for taking sizeable stakes in major technology and telecoms companies, and pushing for change at the top.

Its recent crusades include AT&T, Samsung, and Telecom Italia.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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