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Twitter's Stock Surges as Activist Investor Circles

By Donna Fuscaldo - Updated Mar 2, 2020 at 6:01PM

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Elliott Management, an activist investor group, has amassed a stake in Twitter and could call for the ouster of CEO Jack Dorsey.

Twitter (TWTR -0.44%) shares are surging Monday on news change could be coming to the microblogging platform operator. 

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that  Elliott Management, the activist investing firm, has amassed a "sizable" stake in Twitter and is gearing up to call for change --  including the potential ouster of Chief Executive Jack Dorsey.

Dorsey, who also runs digital payments company Square, has been facing criticism for weeks over his plans to spend half the year in Africa. Investors including Jeffrey Sonnenfeld from the Yale School of Management were less than impressed when Dorsey made the announcement. Sonnenfeld called it "reckless and egomaniacal" and said Twitter's board was "irresponsible and negligent." 

Person tweeting on mobile phone.

Image source: Getty Images.

Sonnenfeld isn't the only one who is upset. Elliott Management reportedly nominated four directors to Twitter's board, even though there are only three seats that will be available. Bloomberg notes that Elliott Management and executives at Twitter have had discussions, the latest Friday night, but Dorsey was notably absent. Those present included Chairman Omid Kordestani and its lead director Patrick Pichette. 

The potential shakeup at Twitter comes as the company is expected to benefit from the upcoming U.S. presidential election and the Summer Olympics. Those two events should drive usage and advertising sales growth. Twitter has decided to shun any political ads on its platform but it is still among the most engaged political audiences in social media. 

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