CEO Morning Brief

Trump-backed Blank-check Firm Digital World Ousts CEO

Publish date: Thu, 23 Mar 2023, 08:54 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

(March 22): Digital World Acquisition Corp, a blank-check firm that is set to merge with former US President Donald Trump's media and technology company, said on Wednesday (March 22) it had ousted chief executive Patrick Orlando.

“Due to the unprecedented headwinds faced by the Company, the Board agreed it was in the best interest of its shareholders to select a new management team to execute an orderly succession plan and set strategic operating procedures for the Company in this new phase,” the company said in a news release.

In October 2021, Trump’s newly formed media company, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), announced a deal to go public by merging with DWAC. The deal is now in doubt amid investigations by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which have delayed its closing.

Late last year, shareholders approved extending the deadline to close the deal to September 2023. Around that time, DWAC’s chief financial officer and two independent directors left.

Challenges for both DWAC and TMTG, which operates the Truth Social app, have continued this year. TMTG’s founders launched the company as a way for Trump to connect with his followers after he was cut off from major social media platforms following the Jan 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by his followers. TMTG’s fortunes are inextricably tied to Trump, who is billed by the company as the chief traffic driver.

But Trump has now returned to the platforms from which he was ousted. He posted to Alphabet Inc's YouTube and Meta Platforms Inc's Facebook on March 17, the same day YouTube restored his channel. Meta reinstated Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts earlier this year.

Trump’s Twitter account was reinstated in November by the platform's new owner Elon Musk, but Trump has yet to post there.

Shares of DWAC were down 4.55% on Wednesday morning.

Source: TheEdge - 23 Mar 2023

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