Twitter should drop ex-CEOs from board: Sonnenfeld

Twitter has too many ex-CEOs on board: Sonnenfeld
Twitter has too many ex-CEOs on board: Sonnenfeld   

Twitter should consider reshuffling its board to avoid cramming too many top cooks in the kitchen, Jeff Sonnenfeld, associate dean at the Yale School of Management, said Tuesday.

CEO Dick Costolo is slated to end his tenure on July 1, and will be replaced temporarily by Twitter co-founder and board Chairman Jack Dorsey. Costolo will retain his seat on the board, where another co-founder and former CEO, Evan Williams, is also a member. Any new CEO would also get a seat on the board.

Sonnenfeld said if he were in a position to do so, he would ask two of the three to step down and instead take a paid advisory role. (Tweet This)

"How can you have board of eight people where prospectively four of them would have had the title of CEO of this company?" he asked during an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "It's really an odd thing to set up."

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Whoever takes over the top spot at Twitter will have a tough time avoiding friction with former chiefs, Sonnenfeld said.

"What you're doing, you're contradicting one if not all three of your predecessors as you've been brought in because these people, either your age or younger, messed up as CEO," he said. "It's very hard to counteract what your predecessor's decisions were."

A successful CEO with a board stacked with his or her predecessors is the exception, Sonnenfeld said, pointing to Edward Jefferson's tenure as chief executive and chairman of DuPont in the 1980s.