Twitter names PepsiCo CFO to its board of directors

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter has appointed PepsiCo's chief financial officer to its board.

Hugh Johnston has served as PepsiCo Inc.'s CFO since 2010. The 54-year-old executive also serves as vice chairman of the food and beverage company.

Twitter Inc. also disclosed in a regulatory filing that Martha Lane Fox will serve as a director. The 43-year-old executive is a co-founder of travel and leisure website

Board members Peter Currie and Peter Chernin's terms expire at Twitter's 2016 annual shareholders meeting. The filing says Currie and Chernin were not considered for re-election, at their requests.

Twitter, a social media site famous for hashtags and a 140-character "tweet" limit, turned 10 years old last month. After a long streak of robust growth that turned it into one of the Internet's hottest companies, Twitter's expansion has slowed dramatically over the past year and a half.

At the end of 2015, it had about 320 million active users, far short of social networking leader Facebook and its 1.5 billion users.

Twitter executives have acknowledged their struggle to convince people the service is essential. They have tweaked Twitter's format in a bid to make it easier and more engaging to use. That's seen as key to expanding Twitter's user base, which would in turn allow it to sell more advertising and to begin to make money for the first time.

The San Francisco-based company last year added a "Moments" feature, a tool that bundles video, photos and links to news stories, making it easier for people to find hot topics of discussion without needing to figure out whom to follow to receive updates.

It also got rid of its star icon signifying a "favorite" tweet, in favor of a heart icon, similar to Facebook's "like" button. Twitter then changed the user timeline, showing first the popular tweets related to people users follow, then the real-time feed, a feature users can turn off.

Hardcore Twitter users seemed mostly dismayed by the new changes and were borderline apoplectic when rumors circulated that the company was considering doing away with the 140-character limit.

The company rehired Dorsey for a second stint as CEO last summer, and he signaled his resolve to make Twitter profitable by laying off 336 employees, or 8 percent of its workforce.

But Twitter lost another $90 million during the final three months of last year, preserving its profitless history.

Its stock rose 25 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $17.23 in Friday morning trading. Twitter's November 2013 initial public offering price was $26 and it reached $70 per share in early 2014.