By VINDU GOEL – NYT
Twitter announced on Thursday that it had added the former publishing executive Marjorie M. Scardino to its eight-member board of directors — the first woman to serve in such a role at the high-profile social networking company.
Ms. Scardino, 66, is the former chief executive officer of Pearson, a London-based education and media conglomerate whose properties include Penguin Random House in books and The Financial Times and The Economist in journalism. She also served on the board of Nokia.
In the run-up to its November initial public offering of stock, Twitter had come under fire for the absence of any women on its then seven-member board, the body that oversees strategy at the company and decides important issues like executive compensation.
Twitter’s chief executive, Dick Costolo, even got into a public tweeting match with one of the company’s critics over the topic.
Ms. Scardino’s background should certainly help Twitter with its global expansion plans and its efforts to encourage use of the service by the media, including news organizations around the world. Before running Pearson, she ran its Economist Group, which is well known for its deeply reported country and industry profiles. And as the leader of one of the world’s largest publishing companies, she certainly got to know some of the biggest advertisers on the planet.
Before joining Twitter’s board, she had never tweeted publicly under her own name. A company spokesman said Ms. Scardino had one public account under an anonymous identity that she used primarily to read tweets and had another account as Pearson chief executive whose activity was all private.
Her first public tweet under her own name, using the account @marjscar, was posted on Thursday morning in response to Twitter’s announcement of her appointment:
@twitter Thank you. There couldn’t be a more exciting time in Twitter’s history to join!