Twitter taps ex-Google CFO Pichette as board chairman

Twitter appointed former Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette as the company’s new chairman of the board on Tuesday. Pichette previously served as Google’s CFO from 2008 until 2015 and joined Twitter’s board of directors in 2017. Pichette will replace Omid Kordestani as chairman of the board. Kordestani has served as Twitter’s board chairman since October 2015 and will remain on the board as a director.

Pichette previously worked as CFO of Google and left the company in 2015. In 2018, Pichette became a general partner at inovia Capital and later joined Twitter as a lead independent director.

“Given the strength and depth of Twitter’s management team and Board, we believe that now is the right time to evolve our governance structure in-line with best practices,” Pichette said in a statement.

He continued, “We are pleased to demonstrate our commitment to good governance and be in the position to make this important change. We look forward to continuing to benefit from Omid’s expertise on the Board.”

Kordestani, who also worked at Google as its chief business officer and senior officer, will remain on Twitter’s board as a director. According to an SEC filing, Kordestani will be compensated accordingly.

“It has been my great pleasure to work alongside Twitter’s management team and help advance its mission over the past five years,” Kordestani’s statement reads. “I have seen firsthand the significant changes Twitter has undertaken to strengthen and stabilize its leadership structure to achieve long-term sustainable growth and feel confident that I can now step back from my active role as executive chair.”

The addition of Pichette as board chairman comes just three months after $40 billion hedge fund Elliot Management sought to oust Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey while also pushing for improved corporate governance and higher share prices.

The two ultimately reached an agreement that allowed Dorsey to remain CEO while also handing a number of board seats to Elliot Management and Silver Lake. Jesse Cohn of Elliot Management, Egon Durban, Silver Lake’s co-chief executive and artificial intelligence expert Fei-Fei Lei have also joined the board as part of Twitter’s deal with Elliot Management and Silver Lake.