By Corrie Driebusch and Betsy Morris
Elliott Management Corp. has nominated four directors to the board at Twitter Inc., according to a person familiar with the matter, setting the stage for a potential showdown between one of the most prolific and pugnacious activist hedge funds and the influential social-media company.
Elliott has taken a roughly $1 billion stake and been in talks with Twitter management about its desire for the company to find a full-time chief executive officer, the person said. That most likely would involve replacing co-founder Jack Dorsey, who began a second stint as the company’s CEO in 2015. In addition to his role at Twitter /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR +4.30% , Dorsey leads Square Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205989440/composite SQ +2.43% , a financial-technology firm he also co-founded.
In November, Dorsey said via a tweet that he planned to live in Africa for three-to-six months this year. The announcement surprised executives at Twitter and angered investors frustrated with the company’s performance under the part-time CEO. Twitter’s shares and financial performance have long lagged behind its popularity and influence in culture and politics. Its market capitalization, at around $26 billion, is a fraction of that of rival social-media platform Facebook Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +2.04%
Elliott is known for battles with companies such as Arconic Inc. /zigman2/quotes/216391721/composite ARNC +7.45% and AT&T Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203165245/composite T +3.17% and campaigns against Peru and Argentina, pressuring the countries to make payments on defaulted bonds. It recently revealed an interest in Japanese telecommunications-and-technology giant SoftBank Group /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +0.87% .
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