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Posts distort facts of high-profile company departures

November 30, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: The CEOs of Twitter, Walmart and CNBC all resigned on the first day of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Partly false. Twitter’s CEO did step down on Monday. CNBC does not have a CEO and its chairman did not resign. Nor did the CEO of Walmart; although the company said its chief financial officer would be stepping down — but not leaving the company until 2023.

THE FACTS: Widely shared social media posts are offering a misleading take on the announcement of some high-profile departures from various companies.

“On the FIRST day of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial,” reads a tweet shared more than 10,000 times. “The CEO of Twitter resigned The CEO of Walmart resigned The CEO of CNBC resigned.”

The sex trafficking trial of Maxwell, the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, began Monday. The posts don’t put forward any evidence connecting that trial and the resignations.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey did announce on Monday that he would step down from his role, suggesting he believed the company should “break away from its founding and founders.” But Dorsey said he would remain on the board until his term expires in 2022.

As for Walmart, the CEO did not resign; and CNBC does not have a CEO. Its chairman is Mark Hoffman, who made no announcement about his future with the network.

A CNBC spokesperson told The Associated Press in an email that the claim of such a resignation was “categorically untrue.”

And Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said “there is no truth whatsoever” to the claim that the company’s CEO, Doug McMillion, is resigning.

Walmart did announce on Monday that its CFO, Brett Biggs, would be stepping down from his position after a successor is identified. The company said “Biggs will remain in the CFO role until a successor is named next year and then support that transition, remaining as an associate until he leaves the company on Jan. 31, 2023.”

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.