Why Twitter Got Just What It Needed

Twitter has appointed Marjorie Scardino to their board and this is a sound choice.

She brings public company experience: she was the high profile CEO of Pearson, a public company that own the Financial Times, publishing company Penguin Random House, and an education company. She has also sat on the board of Nokia.

Scardino increases their global experience: As an Anglo-American with extensive international experience, she brings a solid multinational background at a time when Twitter is focusing its efforts on its global presence. This is part of a larger encouraging trend of companies in the US and around the world adding international board members as companies in all countries recognize that it is useful to have people around the table who can help them think through their international activities.

Marjorie Scardino is Twitter’s first female board member. Twitter did not do a great job of addressing the issue of their lack of boardroom diversity. In Scardino they have chosen someone who is used to being one of only a few, as she was one of very few female FTSE CEOs. An interesting side note: at 66, Scardino also brings age diversity to Twitter’s boardroom, which skews young.

Twitter has some big challenges ahead of them as they find their feet as a multinational public company. Scardino is a strong choice and if Twitter avail themselves of her expertise they will benefit (this may seem obvious, but it is one thing to have someone at the boardroom table, it is another thing to really engage with them.)

Time will tell if adding Marjorie Scardino to the board of Twitter will be of real benefit, but the appointment itself is a strong first step.

I spoke with Reuters about Scardino’s appointment.

Date

6 December 2013

Why Twitter Got Just What It Needed

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