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Twitter Promotes Lead Independent Director Patrick Pichette to Chairman of the Board

By Anders Bylund – Jun 3, 2020 at 9:50AM

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The former Google CFO replaced fellow ex-Googler Omid Kordestani.

Microblogging veteran Twitter (TWTR 2.57%) is under new leadership. Chairman Omid Kordestani stepped down from his post on June 1 and former Google CFO Patrick Pichette has taken his place.

What's new?

Pichette also serves as chairman of Twitter's audit committee and a member of the board's compensation committee. He has served as a board member for Twitter since December 2017, starting his term two years after a seven-year term as chief financial officer at the company now known as Alphabet (GOOG -1.98%) (GOOGL -1.82%).

Google's annual revenues and free cash flows tripled under Pichette's long stint as CFO.

Kordestani also comes with a Google pedigree, having spent 15 years in high-level executive roles at that tech giant. He will stay on as a board member.

In a prepared statement, Pichette said that the time was right to "evolve our governance structure in-line with best practices."

A businessman passes a golden baton to another jacket-clad hand.

Image source: Getty Images.

Why now?

The boardroom shuffle comes at a salient time for Twitter. Two months ago, the company reached an agreement with activist investment firms Silver Lake Partners and Elliott Management to install three new independent directors and diversify the board over time.

The company is also in the national and global spotlight due to a public conflict with U.S. President Donald Trump. Twitter added fact-checking tags to some of Trump's tweets in May, sparking an executive order that aims to strip away legal protection from social media networks and online publishers who apply an editorial voice to their users' public messages.

It makes sense to see Twitter elevating its lead independent boardroom voice at a time like this as the company looks for a way forward through murky waters.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Anders Bylund owns shares of Alphabet (A shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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