Mar 22, 2023 - Economy

DWAC fires its CEO amid stalled deal to buy Trump's Truth Social

Illustration of a cell phone displaying the Truth Social app logo on a shattered screen.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Digital World Acquisition Corp., the blank check company seeking to buy Truth Social parent company TMTG, on Wednesday disclosed that it has fired chairman and CEO Patrick Orlando.

Why it matters: This reflects the difficulties faced by President Trump's social media company since its October 2021 agreement to be acquired by DWAC, including a series of government investigations that have kept the deal in limbo.

  • Orlando had been the merger's most vocal cheerleader, regularly using Truth Social to encourage shareholders to vote in favor of merger extensions and online protests against the SEC.
  • He has not yet issued a public statement on his termination, and last posted to Truth Social around three weeks ago.

Zoom in: Orlando will remain a director with DWAC, while existing director Eric Swider will assume the chair and CEO roles on an interim basis.

  • The move does not impact leadership at TMTG, which continues to be led by former Congressman Devin Nunes.

What they're saying, per a DWAC press release: "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. Mr. Orlando's departure enables the Board to appoint new leadership, which it believes will restore confidence to the shareholders."

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