Former US president Donald Trump announced plans on October 20 to launch his own social networking platform called “TRUTH Social,” which is expected to begin its beta launch for “invited guests” next month.
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Digital World Acquisition Corp., the publicly traded blank check company that planned to merge with former president Donald Trump‘s social media company, fired its CEO earlier this week, according to a Wednesday filing.
The former CEO, Patrick Orlando, will remain as a director for the company. He and his other company ARC Global Investments each own 10% of DWAC. The DWAC board appointed Eric Swider, another director, to serve as interim chief executive while the board works on executing a final succession plan. Orlando and a DWAC representative didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
In a Wednesday announcement, DWAC cited “unprecedented headwinds” that necessitated a leadership change in order for the company to enter a “new phase.”
The company has been under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as by federal prosecutors in New York City. Amid those legal obstacles, Digital World has also faced financial struggles.
Patrick Orlando-Cachay leave Manhattan Supreme court with their attorney Susan Karten after the arraignment of Nicholas Brooks Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011 in New York. Brooks pleaded not guilty to murdering his swimsuit designer girlfriend, Sylvie Cachay, in a trendy New York City hotel.
Mary Altaffer | AP
The company had aimed to merge with Trump Media and Technology Group, the parent of Truth Social, but has delayed finalizing that deal. In November, the company secured a deadline extension for the Trump Media merger until September 2023. If it had not gotten that extension, it faced liquidation. The delays have cost the company $100 million.
“I know it has been a challenging process for the shareholders,” Swider said in Wednesday’s announcement.
The news of Orlando’s termination comes as Trump faces potential indictment in Manhattan over a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.
Trump was also recently reinstated to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook following a ban on his social media messages during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, when hundreds of his followers invaded Congress.