“We’re Looking For Someone Who Really Uses And Loves The Product” & More About Twitter CEO Search
Twitter answers questions about CEO Dick Costolo stepping down; Jack Dorsey taking over as interim CEO & the search for a permanent replacement.
Want to be the next CEO of Twitter? Then you’d better already be using and loving the product, said soon-to-be interim CEO Jack Dorsey. That was one of several things we learned during Twitter’s press conference today about finding a new CEO.
Twitter announced today that its current CEO Dick Costolo is leaving. Dorsey, Twitter’s chair and cofounder of the service, will take over July 1 on an interim basis while a new permanent CEO will be sought.
Twitter held a press conference today to discuss the transition. Our live blog of it is below, but here are some of the highlights.
Costolo Not Leaving Over Performance
Costolo simply said the time was right. He didn’t give any further details, such as the typical “want to have more personal time” type of statement, as often happens with these types of transitions.
Dorsey stressed it was Costolo’s decision to depart, that there wasn’t a connection to any near-term financial results or performance issues.
Decision To Leave Began Last Year
Costolo explained that he began talking with the Twitter board about departing at the end of last year. It was raised again during the board’s February meeting then again last week, when it was decided the time was right.
Costolo also said Twitter wanted to make public the search for a new CEO as the transparency reflects “who we are as a company” and wouldn’t result in a lot of rumors and distractions happening.
Time’s Right Because Of Good Management Team & Product Roadmap
While admitting “there’s never ever a perfect time for a transition like this,” Costolo explained now is one of the best times possible because Twitter has a solid management team in place and a product roadmap it is happy with.
Dorsey echoed this. Asked several times if Twitter might somehow change its product strategy, he indicated no. He said there was an “exciting line-up” of products and plenty to do with existing and new products to fulfill “unmet potential.”
No Severance For Costolo, Who Stays On Twitter’s Board
One analyst asked if Costolo was receiving any type of severance package for stepping down. No.
While Costolo is leaving as CEO, he will remain a member of Twitter’s board.
No Timetable For All-Male Search Team To Find New CEO
Dorsey said that Twitter had no particular timetable to find a new CEO. The search team would take all the time it needs.
That team, by the way, is made up of:
- Peter Currie, Twitter board member
- Peter Fenton, Twitter board member
- Evan Williams, Twitter board member & cofounder
Having an all-male CEO search team is perhaps not the best signal when Silicon Valley in general is under fire over diversity issues. Twitter, in particular, has repeatedly come under criticism for not doing more to protect women who use its service. But this issue wasn’t raised during the press conference.
Twitter Would Entertain Acquisition Offer But Happy As Independent
How about Twitter being purchased rather than seeking a new CEO to lead it forward as an independent company?
Costolo said that Twitter obviously would have to consider any offers to make sure it was delivering on value back to its shareholders. However, he saw no reason Twitter couldn’t do that well as an independent company.
Internal & External Candidates Considered
Is Twitter only looking for people outside Twitter to become the next CEO? No.
“We’ll be considering all candidates, internal and external,” Costolo said.
New CEO Will Be A Twitter Lover
Anyone who wants to be the next Twitter CEO needs to be an avid user of the service. That’s the takeaway from Dorsey, when asked what he wants in the next CEO.
“We’re looking for someone who really uses and loves the product in every single way,” Dorsey said.
The Live Blog
Below, our live blog of the press conference: