Twitter poaches Google executive Kordestani for chairman post

Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:40pm EDT
 
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By Abhirup Roy and Yasmeen Abutaleb

BENGALURU/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc (TWTR.N: Quote) lured Google Inc executive Omid Kordestani to become the social media company's executive chairman, the latest step in the company's turnaround efforts under Jack Dorsey, who last week was named permanent CEO.

Kordestani's extensive sales experience could prove a good counterpoint to Twitter co-founder Dorsey's product knowledge and vision, analysts said.

"It's rare you get to be at a company with an amazing business that's also transforming the world," Kordestani tweeted. "I've had good fortune to be at three: Netscape, @google, and now @twitter."

Kordestani, most recently senior adviser at Google, will join Twitter's board and will have an operational role at the company, a Twitter spokeswoman said. That will include help with board and employee recruiting and advising executive leadership.

Twitter said last week it would hire an outsider as chairman to allay concerns about Dorsey's dual role as head of mobile payments company Square Inc, which is reportedly planning an IPO.

"It's quite a coup," said James Cordwell, analyst at Atlantic Equities. "He was very well-respected at Google."

Twitter shares, which are down 18 percent this year, were up about 1 percent in afternoon trading.

The announcement could lead to other changes to the board, long criticized for having too many former Twitter CEOs, an excess that investors and analysts said had hampered the company's ability to attract executives and high-level employees.   Continued...

 
The Twitter logo is shown at its corporate headquarters  in San Francisco, California April 28, 2015.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith