Twitter Board Chair Squares Up to Elon Musk Ahead of Trial

The members of Twitter’s board beyond Mr. Taylor and Mr. Agrawal have stayed quiet. They include Omid Kordestani, another former Google executive and longtime Twitter board member; Egon Durban, a technology investor who joined the board in 2020 as part of a bid to keep Mr. Dorsey at the company; Mimi Alemayehou, a Mastercard executive; Fei-Fei Li, an artificial intelligence professor; and David Rosenblatt, a retail executive who has served on Twitter’s board for more than a decade. Through a spokesman, Twitter’s board members declined to comment for this article.

In other acquisitions, Mr. Taylor has been intimately involved in negotiations and has pushed for rapid closing periods, people who have bought or sold companies with him said.

Mr. Taylor sold his start-up, Quip, to Salesforce in 2016 for $750 million. That was after another top Silicon Valley firm had offered to buy the company’s product. Mr. Taylor had pushed for a higher price in that deal because he believed the offer was too low, Quip’s other co-founder, Kevin Gibbs, said. When Salesforce made its offer to acquire Quip, Mr. Taylor requested that the deal be completed in just one week.

“He had realized, if this drags on for a really long time, it could be really demoralizing to everyone here and a huge distraction,” Mr. Gibbs recalled. And despite grumblings from the deal’s lawyers, the closing period lasted only 10 days, close to Mr. Taylor’s schedule.

Mr. Taylor is keenly aware of the discomfort in which Twitter is mired and is eager to bring it to an end, a person familiar with the discussions of Twitter’s board said.

Mr. Taylor’s frenetic pace has been relentless over the past six months, as he has managed his executive duties on top of his responsibilities as Twitter’s board chairman, keeping pressure on Mr. Musk and trying to finalize the deal.

The week before Twitter’s September board meeting, Mr. Taylor embarked on a whirlwind trip to Los Angeles, Minneapolis and New York to meet with Salesforce clients and gather feedback on an upcoming product presentation. After the board meeting, he jetted back to San Francisco.


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