Digital World Acquisition Corp. confirmed Wednesday it parted ways with its chief executive, as the publicly-traded company moved towards a possible merger with former president Donald Trump’s (pictured in 2020) social media company. File Photo by Doug Mills/UPI | License Photo
March 22 (UPI) -- Digital World Acquisition Corp. confirmed Wednesday it parted ways with its chief executive as the publicly traded company moved toward a possible merger with former president Donald Trump's social media company.
California-headquartered DWAC said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it fired former CEO Patrick Orlando earlier in the week. Orlando had also served as the company's president.
"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 statement.
"Mr. Orlando's departure enables the board to appoint new leadership, which it believes will restore confidence to the shareholders."
Orlando remains on the company's board of directors and continues to hold a 10% stake in the specialty acquisition company. He served as president and CEO for the last year and a half.
The Trump Media and Technology Group launched the Truth Social social media platform early last year.
In September, the DWAC deferred a shareholder vote on whether to delay the acquisition of Trump Media and Technology Group, including the Truth Social platform.
Shareholders voted in November to delay a deadline for any merger by several months. The multiple delays have cost the company $100 million, according to NBC.
The SEC, as well as federal prosecutors in New York, reportedly have been investigating DWAC's financial dealings.
"I know it has been a challenging process for the shareholders. It is important to show that we are working every day to safeguard their interests," newly appointed DWAC interim CEO Eric Swider said in the company's statement Wednesday.