One of the world's biggest activist funds, Elliott Management, is seeking to shake things up at Twitter, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Sources close to the matter spoke to the publication on condition of anonymity as the issue has yet to be made public. According to them, Elliott is looking into replacing Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (who, unlike Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Spiegel, or Bobby Murphy, doesn't have voting power over his company).
The firm has apparently selected four names for Twitter's board. Bloomberg noted that Twitter has vacancies for only three seats but Elliott seems to be aggressively pursuing those coveted spots with at least four nominations. Although the sources didn't exactly explain why the firm seemed so invested in this shake-up, we have a theory and it has to do with Dorsey's weird decision to work in Africa at least six months a year. Oh, and the fact that Elliott is basically a GOP investment apparatus.
Paul Singer, Elliott's CEO, is a major GOP supporter, which raises serious questions about the objectives behind these moves. Although Singer initially pushed back against Trump and maintains a distance from the 45th president, he ultimately voted for him, gave his inauguration fund $1M, and was said to have given Trump his "total support," according to... yes, Donald Trump.
Bloomberg has previously called Singer the “The World’s Most Feared Investor,” and in a New Yorker profile from 2018, he relates a story about babies and animals being eaten alive by ants in an abandoned village as a kind of hopeful tale of renewal. "The ants ate everything, even if there was some collateral damage. That’s sort of a metaphor for markets. Sometimes a crisis wipes the slate clean."
Investors aren't happy across the board — Back in December, Input reported that investors in Twitter were publicly airing their worries about Dorsey's plan to practically relocate to Africa. Some of these investors wondered if this would affect the CEO's focus on Twitter and Square. Of note, one of Twitter's shareholders, Scott Galloway, wrote an open letter to Twitter's chairman Omid Kordestani. "A part-time CEO who is relocating to Africa?" Galloway criticized. "Enough already."
Twitter is under intense pressure — The report comes amid a whole gamut of issues at Twitter. From inadequate measures to address misinformation, hacking to ad targeting for hate groups and privacy issues, Dorsey's empire is under scrutiny. It's hard to say what the activist fund truly seeks out of this shake-up but it's known for supporting internal corporate changes. If it's any consolation to Dorsey, Bloomberg reports that Elliott is also looking into "governance changes" at SoftBank's Vision Fund.