Twitter promises diversity with board shakeup, offers … this

Twitter Founder
Twitter is all about diversity — eventually.

Citing the need for diversity at the top of the management ladder, Twitter announced on Friday that Martha Lane Fox and Hugh Johnston are joining its board. The new recruits will replace outgoing members Peter Currie and Peter Chernin, who opted not to stand for re-election.

CEO Jack Dorsey took to Twitter (of course) to announce the moves and underscore the promise of diversity: “More additions to the board soon, ones that will bring diversity and represent the strong communities on Twitter. This matters & is a must.”

But at present, those words are just promises. Re/Code’s Peter Kafka briefly touched on the irony of the announcement: “If you are keeping track of the board’s demographics, as Dorsey does, than you will note that it is now a bit more diversified, since it is replacing two white guys with one white man and one white woman.”

Fox is a former digital advocate for the U.K. government and member of the House of Lords. The 43-year-old also co-founded the popular travel website Johnston, on the other hand, is the chief financial officer for PepsiCo, a position he has held since 2010, reports the Guardian.

With the addition, Twitter’s board now has two women. It is entirely white.

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In the past, Dorsey has repeated his commitment to strengthening diversity at the company. He recently reiterated that statement at the 42nd annual convention for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Currently, Twitter exhibits the same failings as other tech companies of its ilk, with just two percent of its staff made up of African Americans and four percent Hispanics. Female representation at Twitter stood at 34 percent, according to its 2015 diversity report.

Dorsey has a lot on his plate at present. Earlier this year, the company lost several executives in the run-up to its quarterly earnings call. In March, the company reportedly doled out cash bonuses and stock incentives in an effort to retain its troubled workforce. All the while, the company’s share price has slipped due to its lack of growth in user numbers.

In other Twitter news, the micro-blogging platform has acquired startup Peer, creators of the Peer employee and manager feedback tool. An announcement on the company’s website (which offers little beyond the statement, hinting that the product may have already been shut down) reads: “We’re excited to now be a part of Twitter. We’ve been focused on creating more honest conversations and we’re looking forward to supporting the efforts of the world’s greatest conversation platform.”

Upon its launch in 2015, Peer was touted as a social tool that would revolutionize “feedback” by allowing workers to continuously monitor their performance rating.


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