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BET CEO Debra Lee Joins Twitter Board

She'll be the company's first black board member.

Posted on May 16, 2016, at 5:59 p.m. ET


Richard Drew / AP

Jack Dorsey is swiftly remaking Twitter's board, bringing in executives with perspectives that were glaringly missing when he took over as CEO last year.

The company today announced the addition of Debra Lee, CEO and Chairman of BET, to its board. Lee, who has been BET's CEO for more than a decade, is a seasoned media exec and Twitter's first black board member.

"Thrilled to be joining the @twitter board," Lee tweeted. "It's transformed the media and the world like few other things in history (and continues to)!!"

Thanks Omid!! I am very excited to join! https://t.co/kuudSGQMMR

When Dorsey signed on as permanent Twitter CEO last October, one of the biggest challenges he faced was the board that hired him. The board struggled in multiple ways: It set company's IPO expectations too high, stuck with then-CEO Dick Costolo too long, and was subject to an embarrassing number of leaks. The board couldn't even keep the news of Dorsey's appointment, which only its members knew of, secret. It was also largely made up of white men, an odd look for a company pitching itself as global discussion platform.

Dorsey, without any explicit power to remove board members, has deftly guided some out of the door while replacing them with new blood, including the British businesswoman Martha Lane Fox, PepsiCo Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston, and now Lee.

Dorsey took a moment to publicly revel in his work shortly after the announcement of Lee's appointment:

In just 6 months we've added 4 people to the Twitter board: @omidkordestani @hughjohnston @Marthalanefox and now @IamDebraLee.



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