Twitter appoints Facebook veteran Bret Taylor to its board

Twitter has appointed a former senior Facebook executive and Silicon Valley veteran, to its board, as it continues to makeover of its leadership group as it struggles to rev up growth.

Bret Taylor, who joins Twitter’s board as its 10th member, served as Facebook’s chief technical officer from 2009 to 2012 before leaving the company to help found Quip, a workplace productivity startup. Before Facebook, Taylor was a product manager for Google.

“Twitter is the fastest way to find out what’s happening, and beneath its simplicity lies a very sophisticated set of technology,” Mr Taylor said.

“I hope to bring my knowledge and experiences to bear to help Jack and the board push Twitter and its services forward.”

Twitter’s board has been in flux since last year, when co-founder Jack Dorsey returned to the company to take over again as its chief executive.

Since Mr Dorsey’s reinstatement, Twitter has made a series of changes to its board, including recruiting people like Omid Kordestani, a former high-ranking Google executive, and Debra Lee, chairman and chief executive of BET. Other long-standing directors, like Peter Chernin and Peter Currie, left the board voluntarily this year.

Twitter has long faced criticism for its board’s composition, largely over its lack of female and minority members. That has slowly shifted with the appointments of Lee and Martha Lane Fox, a British digital entrepreneur and Mr Kordestani, Twitter’s chairman, is of Iranian-American heritage.

Taylor’s success at Facebook may give Twitter some cover from critics who have voiced concerns about the company’s strategy. Twitter has been struggling with how to increase its audience growth, which has stalled even as other social media properties like Instagram continue to pull in new members.

In a statement on Tuesday, Kordestani said Twitter had added Taylor because of his experience in consumer products and technologies, which would complement the finance and media skills of other board members.

As a Google product manager, Taylor was a co-creator of Google Maps and the Maps application programming interface, used by many companies. He also served on Facebook’s leadership team through its tumultuous initial public offering in 2012.

By: Mike Isaac
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