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Twitter will keep Jack Dorsey as CEO in deal with activist investor group

Twitter will keep Jack Dorsey as CEO in deal with activist investor group


Commits to $2 billion stock buyback to appease Elliott Management

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Photo by Prakash Singh / AFP via Getty Images

Jack Dorsey will remain Twitter’s CEO as part of a deal the company reached with Elliott Management, an activist investor firm that, for the past two weeks, has been trying to push Dorsey out as part of an overhaul to Twitter’s business.

The deal sees Twitter committing to buy back $2 billion worth of stock. It’s also naming two new board members: one from Elliott Management and one from Silver Lake, an investment firm that’s putting $1 billion into Twitter to fund the buybacks.

New board members will look at “the CEO succession plan” this year

Both new board members had positive things to say about working with Dorsey in a press release published today. The announcement indicates that Dorsey is sticking around for the time being, but it also suggests that the board will look into when it would be appropriate to move to a new CEO.

The new board members will be part of a committee evaluating “the CEO succession plan.” They’ll be joined by three additional board members, all of whom currently serve on the board. The group intends to share their findings publicly by the end of the year.

Elliott’s initial objections to Dorsey were vague. They seemingly had to do with Twitter perpetually being a bit of a mess, and Dorsey also running a fully separate second large company. But the investment firm had purchased a 4 percent stake in Twitter, giving it the leverage to make some noise and potentially cause problems for Dorsey.

Last year, Elliott ran almost this exact same playbook with AT&T. After buying a substantial stake in the telecom company, Elliott published a lengthy note trashing AT&T’s recent acquisitions and stock performance, and it called for major changes. In the end, AT&T agreed to a few goals and far less dramatic changes that appeased Elliott.