Dick Costolo "has decided to step down" as Twitter CEO. Voluntarily. Got that?
Apparently, he was not asked to leave -- and most certainly not because investors are fed up with Twitter losing money every quarter. Oh no. Not at all. OK then.
He's replaced by co-founder and board chair Jack Dorsey, until such time as the board can find someone who knows how to please Wall Street. Not that the lack of profits had anything to do with Costolo leaving -- did I mention he went of his own accord?
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers resist making puerile jokes. (TWTR)
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Vindu Goel and Mike Isaac say Costolo felt the heat:
Costolo told...the company’s board that he wanted them to replace him. [So] Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and former chief, [is now] interim chief executive.
Costolo [is] a wealthy former entrepreneur. ... In January, he confided to friends...that he did not need the aggravation anymore. ... Last week, one of the company’s biggest shareholders and cheerleaders, Chris Sacca, publicly called for change.
Dorsey said that Twitter’s board was not seeking a change in strategy or direction. ... Costolo has repeatedly failed to meet Wall Street’s high expectations. ... Twitter said on Thursday that its second-quarter financial results were on track to meet its previous forecasts. MORE
And Josh Constine fills in the blanks:
Costolo said he initiated internal conversations about leaving at the end of last year. ... Twitter execs said that since Costolo voluntarily stepped down, there will be no severance package. ... Dorsey will continue to be Square’s CEO, but will fill in...until Twitter finds a replacement.
Employees loved Costolo. He brought order to Twitter...and turned it into a serious business. Whoever comes next will have to transition Twitter from something for news junkies and public figures to a service the average person can love. At its best, Twitter can make anyone as smart as everyone, and that shouldn’t be a niche product. MORE
Dick Costolo states a rather dry statement:
“I am tremendously proud of the Twitter team and all that the team has accomplished. ... We have great leaders who work well together and a clear strategy. ... Jack Dorsey...has a profound understanding of the product and Twitter's mission.
I look forward to supporting Twitter however I can going forward. MORE
Here's Costolo's slightly less dry version, aimed at employees (via Yoree Koh):
As I tell all of you and everybody else who will listen, we’ve never had a stronger team here or a more clear and cohesive strategy. [The] pace and quality of execution this year [has] been a delight to see.
I’ll serve as CEO for the next few weeks to ensure a smooth hand-off. ... I will remain on the Board.
Our greatest competitive advantage is all of the extraordinary people who work here. ... I’ve witnessed monumental personal and professional commitment, sacrifice, trust, and passion. ... Continue to focus and execute against the strategy and everything will fall into place. MORE
But Peter Cohan disagrees that Twitter has a great strategy:
Twitter is a classic example of a company that has what is known as a two-sided market — which works well only if many non-paying users can be engaged in a way that attracts enough paying users who want to reach the non-payers. [But] the massive amount of money that Twitter has lost...reflects the company’s fear of a business model that might upset its non-paying users.
Twitter’s strategy does not make it clear how Twitter will get non-paying users to spend more time on Twitter. Instead it offers meaningless corporate speak [such as] “connecting everyone to their world via our information sharing and distribution platform products.”
Twitter’s strategy for attracting paying [advertisers] has great potential for improvement. In 2014, Twitter controlled less than 1% of the...digital-ad market while Google took 31% and Facebook 7.9%. MORE
So John Gruber sounds worried:
The writing [was] on the wall: Wall Street wanted Costolo out. But I think what Wall Street wants is a pipe dream: for Twitter to turn into another Facebook. [So] Costolo started with a hand dealt from a stacked deck.
My biggest fear:..A new CEO [who] pleases Wall Street but ruins Twitter as we know it. MORE
Meanwhile, Ray Sultan swings: [You're fired -Ed.]
Requirement for next CEO: find a way to explain twitter to actual human beings. MORE
Your Last Chance to be a Trillionaire (for now)
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