Twitter Refuses To Drop Egon Durban From Board

Twitter has said it plans keep Silver Lake co-chief executive Egon Durban on its board of directors, even after investors voted against his re-election and Durban tendered his resignation last week.

The company said it has negotiated with Durban to reduce his commitments to the boards of other companies, a factor some shareholder advisory firms had taken issue with.

“The board has reached the determination that accepting Mr. Durban’s tendered resignation at this time is not in the best interests of the company,” the firm said.

It said Durban had committed to reducing his board service commitments to five public company boards by 25 May 2023.

Silver Lake’s Egon Durban. Image creidt: Silver Lake

Shareholder concerns

This “appropriately addresses the concerns raised by stockholders with regard to such engagements”, the board said.

“The board considers Mr. Durban a highly effective member and believes that he brings to the board an unparalleled operational knowledge of the industry, a unique perspective, and an invaluable skill set and experience with mergers and acquisitions,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

The company said it believed Durban was rejected “due to proxy advisory firm voting guidelines, as well as voting policies of certain institutional investors regarding board service limitations”.

The two largest shareholder advisers, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, had both raised concerns about Durban’s commitments to multiple boards.

He holds seats on seven boards of directors, up from six last year, ISS said.

Takeover bid

Durban is a longtime business associate of Elon Musk and is said to be one of the first people Musk contacted after taking a stake in Twitter earlier this year, in a move that led to his current takeover bid for Twitter.

Dorsey, another ally in Musk’s takeover bid, said last week he would leave Twitter’s board.

Durban has served on Twitter’s board since March 2020 under a co-operation agreement between Twitter and activist investor Elliott Management that put pressure on Dorsey to resign as chief executive over Twitter’s relatively sluggish growth.

Musk’s bid for Twitter is currently on hold, and he now requires $33.5 billion (£26.5bn) in cash to close it, up from the $21bn mentioned when the deal closed, after he decided to allow a $6.25bn margin loan to expire.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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