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Twitter's Board Doesn't Tweet -- And That Doesn't Matter

No. It does not.

Asa Mathat for Re/code

On Wednesday, Twitter appointed as executive chairman longtime Googler Omid Kordestani, a Silicon Valley veteran who checks nearly all the boxes you’d want in a new board leader.

He’s well respected in the industry. He knows how to grow a business — more specifically, he knows how to grow an ad business. And he has deep connections with the kind of tech and media companies Twitter is looking to collaborate with.

But Kordestani does have one “flaw” — a very Twitter-specific “flaw,” in fact: He doesn’t tweet. Like, at all.

Before Wednesday’s announcement, Kordestani had tweeted just nine times since joining the service nearly five years ago. For reference, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has tweeted nearly 17,500 times. Accentuating Kordestani’s tweet history is the fact that other board members like Marjorie Scardino (10 tweets) and Peter Currie (117 tweets) are also pretty silent.

The trio are reflective of Twitter’s greater struggle — that it’s having a tough time convincing people to use the product. That’s evident given that three people who are supposed to care deeply about the company still rarely post. Would Apple bring on a board member who doesn’t use an iPhone? Or would Uber hire a staunch cab patron to help advise its business? No, probably not.

But here’s the counterargument: None of that matters with Twitter.

The concentric circles that Twitter used to describe its reach to analysts
The eccentric circles that Twitter used at Analyst Day to describe its reach

In many ways, Kordestani, Scardino and Currie are exactly the kind of people Twitter is trying to reach. The company has argued for a year that much of its value resides in people who aren’t actually tweeting, but rather consuming. Ever since it showed off this chart of eccentric circles to investors last November (you remember the circles, right??), it has been trying to convince Wall Street that Twitter is about reach.

It already has every big-name publisher on the planet creating content on Twitter for free; the challenge is making sure people can actually find it. That’s why it built and recently launched Moments, its latest attempt to reach people who may not have an account but still want to enjoy the conversations that take place on Twitter.

So who cares if Kordestani isn’t a Twitter power user? It’s clear that that group of users isn’t the future anyway, at least not for Twitter. Instead, Twitter needs to reach people who don’t have an interest in tweeting. Luckily for them, they have a board full of these people to give them ideas on how to do that.

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