During Twitter’s lengthy and much-criticized search for a new CEO, one criteria was paramount: the candidate should be intimately familiar with and presumably a user of the social network.
Apparently the same is not true for the executive chairman, another of the most powerful positions at the company that was left up in the air until now.
Twitter on Wednesday named longtime Google executive Omid Kordestani as its executive chairman, citing his years of experience as a proven technology leader.
Left unsaid: his experience or lack thereof on the actual Twitter site. A power user, he’s not.
Prior to today’s announcement, Kordestani had tweeted just eight times. If you add in his series of excited tweets about the announcement, he is still shy of a dozen.
Jack Dorsey, the Twitter cofounder who took over as permanent CEO last week, had previously served in the chairman position at Twitter while running his payment startup Square.
“Omid is a proven & experienced leader, who will directly help & coach me and our leadership, and help us recruit the best folks to Twitter”, Dorsey said in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
In his announcement last week, Dorsey noted plans to “change the composition” of Twitter’s board, which needed a new chairman and, arguably, new blood as it was made up of three former Twitter CEOs. Chris Sacca, an early and loud Twitter investor, had also complained recently that Twitter’s board was “a country club of old white guys”.
Sacca, for what it’s worth, was quick to defend Kordestani amid criticisms of his sparse tweeting history:
Kordestani was a longtime Google executive and close advisor to the cofounder who runs Google, which will likely raise some eyebrows as Google is frequently listed as a potential acquirer of Twitter. Google and Twitter have increasingly been cozying up through search and advertising partnerships this year.
Kordestani joined Google in 1999 when the search giant was just an upstart and helped build the business model and became a close adviser to CEO Larry Page. He stepped back from the company, then returned last summer after the departure of Google’s chief business officer. This year Page named Kordestani to an advisory role at Alphabet, Google’s newly created holding company.
“There is no finer person than Omid and I am so lucky (again!) that he will continue to help us as an advisor to both Google Inc and Alphabet!” Page said in a post at the time.
That arrangement is clearly over. Kordestani is “no longer affiliated with Google”, a spokesperson for Twitter tells Mashable.
“We’re excited for Omid and very happy for Twitter”. a spokesperson for Google said in a statement provided to Mashable. “Omid was instrumental in establishing Google’s business and helped us develop really close, longstanding partnerships across the industry. We wish him every success in the years ahead”.
Maybe now he’ll finally have time to tweet.