Photograph by Bloomberg

Debra Lee will bring a more diverse voice to Twitter's governance.

By Erin Griffith
May 16, 2016

Twitter has added a new member to its board of directors: Debra Lee, the CEO and Chairman of BET, the parent company of the Black Entertainment Television cable network.

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey said when he rejoined the company last year that several members of its board would be replaced. Venture capitalist Peter Currie and media mogul Peter Chernin have announced they will leave the board. British entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox and Pepsico Vice President and CFO Hugh Johnson joined in April.

Twitter TWTR has promised its new board members will more accurately reflect the people that use its products, including representatives from the black community. The company drew criticism when it appointed Jeffrey Siminoff, a white man, as its VP of Diversity & Inclusion.

It also promised to add board members that actually use the service, which has been a persistent complaint. Marjorie Scardino, board member and MacArthur Foundation Chairman, has tweeted a grand total of 20 times. In addition to adding Lee, Twitter on Monday announced that Scardino will become Twitter’s lead independent director after the company’s annual meeting later this year.

The addition of Lee gives Twitter an African American business leader who also understands the platform: She has more than 67,000 followers and 7,000 tweets.

 

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