A few days before Twitter’s Sept. 8 board meeting, as the company’s finance team readied a presentation, it received conflicting directions on a crucial question. Should their slides reflect Twitter’s prospects as an independent company or delve into the benefits of getting acquired?
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive officer, argued that the 10-year-old company should remain on its current course and work to capitalize on recent product improvements and success in streaming live video, people familiar with the discussions said. Ev Williams, a former CEO who has a history of clashing with Dorsey, was in favor of exploring a sale. Other directors agreed they had a fiduciary duty to consider that option. The board ultimately decided to consider takeover prospects after getting an expression of interest from a potential acquirer, which led it to hire Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co. to evaluate possible bids.