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Twitter Aims to Name Two New Board Members This Week. (We'll See!)

If this were a Shonda Rhimes show, we'd call it a cliffhanger.

Twitter Clock by @studiomoniker

According to multiple sources, Twitter is aiming to name two new board members to replace a pair of outgoing ones at the same time it announces its fourth-quarter earnings tomorrow.

But other sources cautioned that might not happen on time, even though one man and one woman have been undergoing serious due diligence.

If the vetting can be completed, they are most likely to take the place of current directors Peter Chernin and Peter Currie. Other board changes are likely in the future, said sources, but this is not the complete turnover of the board that has been reported could happen.

So who are the mystery candidates? According to sources, one candidate getting strong scrutiny has been a top exec at a major media company, while the other is a powerful creative player within Hollywood. One name that fits that bill and continues to be mentioned by insiders at Twitter is mega-producer Shonda Rhimes, creator of television hits like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” I pinged execs at her network, ABC, but got no response.

A Twitter spokesman also declined comment.

But a name like Rhimes is not such a reach — unlike a lot of the board, she is an active Twitter user and also a canny business exec, as well as a media powerhouse.

In addition, even grander names have been suggested for the company’s board, including Oprah (who’s a NOprah, I am told) and rapper Kendrick Lamar (Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey is a super-fan).

One thing has been clear in the director search: Dorsey has been trying to diversify and reinvigorate the Twitter board, hoping that fresh thinking will give the company a much-needed shot of energy. Indeed, the board has largely been homogenous over the years — which is to say pretty much a group of white men (and only one woman).

Meanwhile, Wall Street has been piling on, sending the stock to new lows, and there are rumblings that activists could attack soon.

Twitter is indeed in a dicey situation, especially if its report tomorrow is weak and guidance is shaky. Why? Well, for one, the company’s valuation is now under $10 billion, with its stock down 63 percent since its IPO in late 2013. Twitter most definitely needs to show strong revenue growth, but more importantly an improvement in active monthly users.

It does not help that Facebook turned in a monster quarter, looking like a stable juggernaut, even as Twitter has had an exodus of execs and many questions around where its product is going.

If this were a Shonda Rhimes show, we’d call it a cliffhanger.

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