Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey To Leave Disney Board

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Facebook Inc () Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter Inc () Chief Executive Jack Dorsey will not seek re-election to Walt Disney Co's () board because of conflicts of interest between the media giant and the technology companies, Disney said on Friday.

The changes would leave the Disney board with one fewer director than previous year as it pushes its proposed $52.4-billion acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox Inc.

"Given our evolving business and the businesses Ms. Sandberg and Mr. Dorsey are in, it has become increasingly hard for them to avoid conflicts relating to board matters", read a statement issued by a Disney representative.

Lead independent director Orin Smith, former CEO of Starbucks Corp, also will leave Disney's board, because of rules that specify retirement at age 74, the company said. Facebook also streamed 15 college football games in 2017 as part of a deal with Stadium.

The news of Dorsey and Sandberg's exit is somewhat of an acknowledgment of Twitter and Facebook's roles as media companies - something Facebook, at least, has been reluctant to publicly embrace.

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Disney maintained ties to the tech world through its board after the death of Apple Inc.co-founder Steve Jobs, once the company's largest shareholder.

Safra Catz, co-CEO of software giant Oracle Corp., and Francis Desouza, head of Illumina Inc., will join the board on February 1.

Their departures won't be the only changes to the board next year.