Last week, Twitter announced that CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down on July 1. The official word is that co-founder and original CEO Jack Dorsey, who is also the CEO of Square, will return to the role in the interim while Twitter’s board conducts a search for a permanent replacement.
Based on responses Dorsey gave to questions about the subject, it sounded as if the interim part could potentially be dropped. When asked by multiple news outlets whether he might become the permanent CEO, he would not just come out and say no. He repeatedly sidestepped these questions, seemingly indicating that it’s not out of the question.
Since then, more reports have come out implying that not only it is possible that Dorsey will return as permanent Twitter CEO, but that it’s most likely to be the case. Business Insider literally says, “Jack Dorsey is the only person who can be Twitter’s next CEO.”
BI’s Jay Yarow, who interviewed both Dorsey and Costolo after the announcement, says he believes the interim title will be dropped by the end of the year because he believes Dorsey wants to be full-time CEO of Twitter. He also cites a New York Times article reporting that “people with knowledge of his thinking” say Dorsey has wanted to return to run Twitter since he was ousted in 2008.
Yarow also makes the case that Square could be handed off to one of its insiders relatively easy and that Dorsey is said to find running a payments company boring. There’s no way to know if there’s really any truth to this, but that’s apparently what the grapevine is saying.
Henry Blodget claims to know “what’s really going on” and that “Twitter’s CEO search is pretty much a sham.”
The article essentially makes the case that the CEO search is really just to give Dorsey a trial period, so they can figure out if they really think he’s right for the job, and if not, they don’t lose face when they decide to go a different direction, all the while, giving Dorsey a chance to figure out if he wants to try to run both companies and/or to figure out what to do about Square if he takes over permanently at Twitter.
The thinking is that Dorsey is the best person to help with the consumer-facing part of Twitter, which has been its biggest problem. User growth just hasn’t been coming fast enough, and he could be the right person to change that.
Of course the whole thing could also lead to the board finding someone else it likes better. There’s been a lot of talk about Adam Bain, who leads revenue and partnerships. There’s also been talk of Twitter potentially getting acquired.
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