Business Technology

Thursday 22 February 2018

The Punt: Now Twitter branches out

Twitter: new chief financial officer
Twitter: new chief financial officer

A former Army ranger turned pro-football executive has been put in charge of Twitter's finances.

Hot shot banker Anthony Noto - who led Twitter's public offering last year as the co-head of Goldman Sachs' technology, media and telecom investment banking group - has been named its new chief financial officer.

But the Punt was just as interested to read about the 46-year-old's colourful career. He was once an army ranger, before becoming an executive with the US National Football League (NFL). He then joining Goldman as an analyst.

His pay packet is also worth reading about - $250,000 a year, along with a one-time grant of 1.5 million restricted units of common stock, with an option to buy an additional 500,000 shares.

"I could not be more excited about joining the @Twitter team & helping them reach every person in the world. #indispensable," he earlier Tweeted.

His move is among a rake of shake-ups in Twitter's executive ranks which has resulted in share prices rising in recent weeks.

Noto replaces Mike Gupta, who will become senior vice president for strategic investments.

Former chief operating officer Ali Rowghani and Chloe Sladden, a former VP of Twitter's media division, also left the company last month.

New friends at Facebook

It's all musical chairs at Facebook's Irish operation of late.

The Punt assumes it's not part of some whacky psychological experiment designed to see how the upper echelons of management are affected amid change. Filings at the Company Registrations Office for Facebook Ireland Holdings show that there has been four appointments or resignations of directorships at the company since the beginning of the year.

Most recently, Facebook's chief financial officer, David Wehner, resigned as a director of the Irish operation, having only been appointed in April. That resignation - and from the Irish business only - came last month, as Facebook finance director Todd Heysse got on board the Irish operation. In April, Facebook's associate general counsel Michael Lee Johnson was signed up as a director of Facebook Ireland Holdings, while company scientist William Blakeley Chandlee resigned as a director that month.

Interestingly, a popular internet search engine tells us that Mr Chandlee is the holder of a number of patents. One of those most recently granted to him and other inventors is for a "social networking system allows users that are people to partner or otherwise express an interest in or affiliation with users that are non-person entities". It's all about creating brand loyalty between Facebook users and advertisers. It makes for some scary reading if you're interested in preserving your privacy.

But then, maybe you're not bothered. Just hit 'Like'.

Bitter battle at US retail chain

And the fight is on.

The ousted boss of US retailer American Apparel isn't going quietly into the night.

Dov Charney has increased his holding in the retailer to 43pc, stepping up a battle with the company's board over his recent firing from the businesses he founded 16 years ago.

Charney bought 27.4m shares last week, boosting his stake in the Los Angeles-based company to 74.5m. He already owned 27pc of the clothing retailer.

Charney was replaced last month amid misconduct allegations and entered a loan agreement with Standard General last week to help increase his stake while he contests his firing.

In response, the board adopted a one year rights plan aimed at preventing the company's founder from gaining control.

To make matters worse, a long-standing creditor in the clothing company has demanded repayment of a $10m (€7.3m) loan. And it's not because the loan has been declared to be in default.

When the loan was issued, it came with a so-called 'keyman' provision and that individual was Dov Charney.

It appears that if Mr Charney isn't in place, the loan falls due. A bitter battle rages.

Irish Independent

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