Twitter Adds Former World Bank Chief, Nigeria’s Ex-Finance Min to Board
In a press release, the social media giant announced that Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former World Bank chief Robert Zoellick have been installed to help Twitter improve transparency and become a “safer, healthier place” for its users.
As part of its reshuffle, the company also revealed that former Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino is stepping down from the board at the end of the year for personal reasons. The American-born British business executive became Twitter’s first female board member when she joined in 2013 and was later named lead independent director in 2016. (See also: Twitter: Buy the Dip, Says JPMorgan.)
Omid Kordestani, Executive Chairman of Twitter, described new arrivals Okonjo-Iweala and Zoellick as “distinguished leaders with unparalleled global perspective and policy expertise.”
“Ngozi and Bob are distinguished leaders with unparalleled global perspective and policy expertise,” said Kordestani. “We are confident they will be incredible assets to Twitter as we continue to focus on driving transparency and making Twitter a safer, healthier place for everyone who uses our service.”
Okonjo-Iweala is currently a senior adviser to investment bank Lazard Ltd. (LAZ) and a member of British bank Standard Chartered Plc.’s board of directors. Prior to that, she was a managing director of the World Bank and served two terms as Nigeria’s finance minister.
Meanwhile, Zoellick, is a non-executive chairman at New York City-based global asset management firm AllianceBernstein Holding LP. (AB). Zoellick was previously the president of the World Bank from 2007 to 2012, a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State and U.S. Trade Representative.
Both Okonjo-Iweala and Zoellick have Twitter profiles. Zoellick joined the social media website in February but has still yet to tweet, while Okonjo-Iweala is a frequent user that has so far amassed more than 862,000 followers.
The two former World Bank employees join Twitter’s board during a critical period. The company has been dealing with a rise in controversial tweeting activity, ranging from terrorist propaganda to bullying and disinformation. (See also: Macquarie: High Valuation Limits Twitter Upside.)
Twitter recently responded to these concerns by suspending millions of accounts. Investors are now worried that those measures will weigh on closely watched user growth metrics.