Someone Tried To Buy Twitter In 2008 But Evan Williams Talked The Board Out Of It With An "Amazing Memo"

Evan WilliamsEvan Williams, cofounder of Twitter

Photo: Joi Ito via Flickr

Someone tried to buy Twitter right after co-founder Evan Williams took over the CEO job from co-founder Jack Dorsey in late 2008, Twitter board member Fred Wilson notes in a blog post about leadership traits. (We understand this was the Facebook acquisition offer.)But Williams helped talk the board out of accepting the deal with an “amazing memo.”

Smart move, given how much Twitter’s value has grown since then. MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka does the maths: The $400 million in Facebook stock that Twitter was reportedly offered back then would be worth about $1.3 billion now. But Twitter’s most recent round of financing values it at almost $4 billion.

Here’s where Wilson references the deal that wasn’t:

“Another key strategic issue is whether to sell the business or keep going as an independent company. Just after Twitter’s leadership passed from Jack Dorsey to Evan Williams, Twitter was faced with that issue. Evan Williams wrote an amazing memo to the board on the subject at that time that is among the strongest acts of founder leadership I have ever witnessed.

Now we’re intrigued and would love to read this memo! Seen a copy? You can reach us at [email protected] Anonymity guaranteed.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post said that someone had tried to buy Twitter LAST FALL, which is NOT what Wilson wrote. (For a few moments, we had mistakenly thought that Wilson was referencing Twitter’s most recent CEO change, to Dick Costolo from Evan Williams. But that’s not what Wilson’s post says.) We apologise for the error.

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