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Account hacks are the least of Twitter’s worries: Tech investor

With three high-profile hacks on verified Twitter accounts in recent days, questions linger over whether it's the fault of the user, or the platform. Cyriac Roeding, tech investor and Shopkick co-founder, says either way, password security is the least of Twitter's worries.

"Currently the world does not look very good for Twitter," Roeding told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Tuesday. "There's a lot more that has to happen at Twitter to put it back on track."

Roeding said Twitter is no different than most websites, where the manual password systems are "old-fashioned and outdated." Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter and Pinterest accounts were among those hacked this week. He reportedly used "dadada" as the password, which Roeding said at least proves the billionaire doesn't take himself too seriously.

Regarding Twitter, Roeding was much more focused on recent executive exits. Jeff Seibert, who took over Twitter's core product team in September, will no longer run Twitter product, Recode reported Tuesday. The departures are spurring rumors that the company could be bought in the coming year, Roeding said.

"People are waiting for the updates to the core product to make it more useable, more user-friendly, and we have yet to see a massive change there," he said. "Some people are now talking about it being bought in the next year or so."

"We don't comment on rumor and speculation," a Twitter spokesperson said In response to an inquiry from CNBC.

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square.

Jack Dorsey's message platform is not the only Silicon Valley company rumored for a buyout. Yahoo, which once had a $45 billion price tag is now reportedly being shopped for $3 billion. Most of the value is in Yahoo's Alibaba and Yahoo Japan stakes, not in the core business, Roeding said.

"We're talking about $3 billion valuations in a company that's actually worth a lot more in total," Roeding said. "Twitter will have the same issue."

The "scarier" story for Silicon Valley is what happens to unicorns, or private companies with high valuations, and much less revenue than Yahoo, Roeding said.

"You see all these companies that seem to be highly valued until they actually have to be bought by someone and then the world looks very, very different," he said. "They are looking at valuations that are so high that it turns out it could be a curse for some of these companies."

The IPO market has slowed significantly in 2016. So far this year, 31 companies have gone public in the U.S., down from 69 in the first five months of 2015 and 115 in the same period in 2014, Barron's reported, citing Renaissance Capital.

Public markets have been much more difficult than private ones, Roeding said. If a company like Yahoo goes for $3 billion, Roeding said it's not likely to surprise Silicon Valley.

"I think it's expected, the world has been changing, everybody has been watching what's been going on at Yahoo."

Correction: Cyriac Roeding is co-founder of Shopkick. An earlier version misstated his title.