Twitter names former Google exec Kordestani as new chairman

The arrival of Omid Kordestani on the board is yet another big in-house development as Twitter seeks ways to broaden its appeal and spur growth.

Terry Collins Staff Reporter, CNET News
Terry writes about social networking giants and legal issues in Silicon Valley for CNET News. He joined CNET News from the Associated Press, where he spent the six years covering major breaking news in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the AP, Terry worked at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star. Terry's a native of Chicago.
Terry Collins
2 min read

Twitter has named former Google business chief Omid Kordestani as the social network's new chairman. James Martin/CNET

It didn't take long for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to find someone to replace him as chairman.

The social network named Omid Kordestani, Google's former chief business officer, as its new executive chairman, Dorsey announced in a series of tweets Wednesday. Kordestani's responsibilities will include providing leadership for Twitter's executive team and helping with recruiting board members and employees.

"Omid is a proven & experienced leader, who will directly help & coach me and our leadership, and help us recruit the best folks to Twitter," Dorsey said in a tweet. "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."

Omid Kordestani, Twitter's new executive chairman Twitter, @omidkordestani

The Kordestani announcement comes as Twitter is trying to reach a broader audience and more advertising dollars. Twitter has 316 million monthly active users, which is a fifth of Facebook's 1.5 billion users and less than Instagram's 400 million users. Kordestani was the 11th employee hired at Google, according to his LinkedIn profile, and reportedly played a major role in creating Google's highly profitable search advertising business.

His leadership role is just one of Twitter's big in-house changes this month. Last week, Twitter's board of directors named Dorsey as chief executive, a return engagement after he had been fired as the company's first CEO seven years ago. And on Tuesday, Twitter laid off as many as 336 employees, or about 8 percent of its global workforce.

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Kordestani, who hasn't been very active on Twitter, tweeted that he is excited to work with Dorsey, along with chief operating officer Adam Bain and financial chief Anthony Noto, to help Twitter grow.

"It's rare you get to be at a company with an amazing business that's also transforming the world," he said.

Kordestani, who was chosen as Google's chief business officer for a second time last year, had worked for the search engine leader since 1999. He transitioned to an advisor and helped the company through its recent rebranding as Alphabet.