Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Twitter Shakes Things Up Again: Fred Wilson, Bijan Sabet Leaving Board

Twitter is reshaping itself yet again, this time at a corporate level: Investors Fred Wilson and Bijan Sabet are leaving the company’s board at the end of the month. Sources say the company won’t fill their seats.

[UPDATE: Twitter confirmed our post in a statement:

“Bijan Sabet and Fred Wilson both played important and greatly appreciated roles in our success. Both saw what Twitter could become before most anyone else. We look forward to their continued input as both investors in the company and passionate users of the product.”]

Wilson, a high-profile principal at Union Square Ventures, was one of Twitter’s earliest backers, and for a long period helped to steer the company’s direction. Sabet’s Spark Capital was also an early investor.

Both funds have sold some of their Twitter holdings via secondary market sales. But people familiar with the companies say both continue to hold a majority of their stake in Twitter, now valued at $8.4 billion.

If there’s a backstory here, it will be hard to tease out. People familiar with all three companies tell me there’s no bad blood behind the move. The one thing that’s easy to understand — for now, at least — is that Twitter’s board is a little less unwieldy.

It has been swelling over time, and last year got even bigger when Flipboard’s Mike McCue, former DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt and Silicon Valley advisor-to-many Peter Currie all joined. Other board members include Benchmark’s Peter Fenton and CEO Dick Costolo.

And, for a relatively young company, Twitter’s corporate history is full of twists and turns. The most recent and prominent ones were Costolo’s ascension from COO to CEO a year ago, when he replaced co-founder Evan Williams; and co-founder Jack Dorsey’s return to the company last spring to head its product efforts, after being pushed out in 2008.

I’ve asked Wilson, Sabet and Twitter for comment.

[Image credit: Lachlan Hardy]

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