Donald Trump supporter and influential Republican donor Paul Singer just purchased a large stake in social media platform Twitter. In the aftermath of the move, reports are circulating that the conservative hopes to oust Jack Dorsey from his role of CEO, among other changes, according to Bloomberg.
Singer made the purchase through his management firm Elliott Management, which is one of the largest activist hedge funds in the world. Though the exact percentage purchased by Elliott Management is not known, it is said to be substantial enough to have become a major source of influence in the social media company.
Since Elliott Management purchased a hefty stake in Twitter, it has reportedly already nominated four new directors to the social media platform’s board. There are only three spots open, and the move is seen as a way to ensure that as many Singer-approved candidates end up in the positions as possible, in addition to covering the possibility that another vacancy may arise.
That said, it has been reported that the biggest focus of Singer and Elliott Management is to replace Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey.
Dorsey has been a subject of criticism as Twitter stock prices have continued to fall despite gains made by other social media websites and apps. Many believe that the platform has not done enough to innovate or deliver new products to a consumer base that is accustomed to updates and changes. Since Dorsey returned as CEO in July 2015, Twitter shares have fallen by 6.2 percent. In contrast, rival Facebook has seen a whopping 121 percent increase.
The CEO has also been slammed for trying to manage mobile payments company Square concurrently with Twitter (via CNBC). Dorsey has also expressed a desire to live in Africa for half of the year, hoping to work remotely. Commentators have claimed that this will only increase haphazard leadership at the company.
One critic is Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and investor in Twitter. Earlier this year, Galloway wrote an open letter that voiced his displeasure with Dorsey and other directors at the company.
“To be clear, my primary objective is the replacement of CEO Jack Dorsey,” Galloway wrote to the company’s executive chairman, Omid Kordestani. “However, your firm’s weapons of mass entrenchment include a staggered board that may force shareholders to seek to replace other directors, including yourself, first.”
Singer’s purchase comes as the 2020 presidential election nears, in addition to other major happenings, like the upcoming Summer Tokyo Olympics and the growing coronavirus crisis.