Twitter’s First Female Board Member Selected

Kachina Shaw
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Seven Evolving Leadership Qualities for the Twenty-First Century

Twitter has its first female board member, effective today. Marjorie Scardino, who promptly sent her very first tweet (“There couldn’t be a more exciting time in Twitter’s history to join!”), is a former CEO for Pearson Publishing, serving in that capacity until last year, according to Bloomberg.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo cites a list of attributes that Scardino brings to the board: International business, operational management and publishing expertise make her an important addition, he told a San Francisco audience Thursday night. As mentioned, heavy Twitter use is not one of her traits, but apparently that will help her fit in with most of the sitting board.

Oh yes, and she is a female. The lack of a female board member became famously entwined with the analysis of the company’s strengths and weaknesses leading up to its IPO. Vivek Wadhwa, who examined and wrote about the all-male board at Twitter, as well as others across Silicon Valley, tweeted that the Scardino announcement is “a win for employees, shareholders,” and expanded his challenge beyond gender diversity, tweeting that her selection was not a surprise, but that he hoped “for at least 3 more including black, Latino, Asian – like users.” Scardino is “great,” he notes, but if other Silicon Valley companies want to let go of their old boys’ clubs, he refers them to his list of female leaders who could strengthen tech firms if offered seats on their boards.

In addition to the high-level appointment and the media coverage that brings, Twitter continues to seek out opportunities to be involved in activities of interest to or revolving around women, who make up more than half of its end users.

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