Omid Kordestani, Google’s 11th employee, becomes social network’s chairman after Jack Dorsey made chief executive
Twitter has hired Google’s 11th employee, Silicon Valley veteran Omid Kordestani, as its new executive chairman, despite him having one of the less-active accounts on the social network.
Mr Kordestani had tweeted just eight times in his five and a half years on Twitter before being appointed on Wednesday.
However, this may enable Mr Kordestani, the first outsider to become Twitter’s executive chairman since it was founded in 2006, to add a fresh perspective to the company, which has struggled to expand beyond its core of 300m monthly users and been blighted by differences between its various leaders.
Mr Kordestani stepped down as Google’s chief business officer in August, but remained as an adviser with the company restructuring itself as Alphabet. He was also on Vodafone’s board for almost two years before standing down to concentrate on Google.
His appointment at Twitter comes the week after its founder Jack Dorsey, who had been Twitter executive chairman since 2011, was confirmed as its full-time chief executive, and the day after it announced 336 job cuts.
“Omid is a proven & experienced leader, who will directly help & coach me and our leadership, and help us recruit the best folks to Twitter,” Mr Dorsey tweeted. “A great chairperson is the first step towards continuing to make our board one of the best in the world, and purpose-built to serve Twitter.”
Mr Kordestani instantly tweeted three times, which brought his total tweet count up to 11 – two more than another board member, former Pearson chief executive Dame Marjorie Scardino, who has nine tweets since joining the board in 2013.
“It’s rare you get to be at a company with an amazing business that’s also transforming the world,” he wrote. “I’ve had good fortune to be at three: Netscape, Google, and now Twitter.”
Kordestani started his career at Netscape, the world’s first mass-market web browser, before moving to Google in 1999. He left after a decade but returned in 2014 as chief business officer and was Google’s highest-paid executive that year, making almost $130m (£84m).
Last week, Twitter said it would look for an external appointment as chairman, with Mr Dorsey running both the social media company and Square a payments startup he founded in 2010.