Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down from his role. While the company looks for a suitable replacement, co-founder Jack Dorsey has been named as the interim CEO, effective from July 1. Also Read - Explained: Can Twitter get banned in India?
Dick Costolo to step down as CEO, will remain on Board, and Jack Dorsey appointed Interim CEO, effective July 1 Also Read - Twitter vs government: Twitter India loses legal protection for not complying with IT rules on time
— TwitterIR (@TwitterIR) June 11, 2015 Also Read - Twitter friends/followers seeking your unwanted attention could be Unmentioned
Costolo has been on the hot seat for some months now due to the recent slide in the company’s financial performance and stock value. Today’s announcement though has been greeted by enthusiasm, which is reflected with the Twitter shares climbing nearly six percent. Costolo’s announcement to step down is being said to be voluntary and he will remain on the board. The company in the meantime is considering internal as well as external candidates to take over permanently from Dorsey.
Costolo was at the head of Twitter for five years, taking the company’s valuation from $3 billion to $23 billion, and also saw a successful debut on the stock market. His efforts turned a once messaging service into a major social media platform, and was also named as “one of the most influential minds in tech” by the Times magazine.
Recently though, Twitter has seen its growth slow down a bit. While it earned $1.4 billion in revenue last year, its shares on the stock market have lost almost a third of their value. As for userbase, despite the 18 percent growth to 301 million monthly users, it is nowhere close to the explosive growth shown by rival Facebook.
After the announcement, Costolo reached out to his employees in an email. An hour later, Dorsey too greeted his employees via an email. You can read the letters below, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.
From: Dick Costolo
Date: June 11, 2015
For those of you who aren’t able to attend the all-hands right now, you’re missing one of my last Q&A sessions in the Commons. After about six years with the company, I’ve decided to step down as CEO effective July 1, and I am thrilled to say that Jack Dorsey will serve as interim CEO while the Board begins a search for our permanent CEO.
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, and all of that is accompanied by a pace and quality of execution this year that’s been a delight to see. So while there is never a perfect time for transitions like this, the stability and performance of the organization gives me confidence that this transition will be smooth.
Jack and I meet regularly and discuss the company, our products, and Twitter’s future, and I assure you that during this time, there’s no one better to help us stay focused and continue the momentum that we’ve all worked so hard to achieve.
Today’s announcement is the culmination of a great deal of careful deliberation and discussion with the Board. Last year, after more than five years with the company, I suggested to the Board that we focus on succession planning and finding the next person to lead while also making sure we had a team that worked well together before embarking on a process. We have agreed that we should announce the search now in the clear light of day so it can be conducted out in the open. To ensure continuity and stability through the transition and eliminate the distractions that would arise if I were to stay on through the search, we have decided to simply remove a layer of management and ask Jack, our Chairman, to lead. Nobody has deeper roots at Twitter. Jack will ensure the Board can undertake a thorough search without disrupting the business, as we stay focused on our strategic goals and priorities. While Jack will continue to serve as CEO of Square, he will benefit from the exceptionally strong leadership team here. I know I can count on each of you to lend him your full support.
As for me, I’ll serve as CEO for the next few weeks to ensure a smooth hand-off to Jack. After that, I will remain on the Board of Directors, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to Twitter’s exciting future. I’m particularly excited about the product work that we’ll unveil this fall, and I’d like Kevin Weil and the C&D team to note that i didn’t mention a specific date here. You’re welcome.
Our greatest competitive advantage is all of the extraordinary people who work here, and it makes my heart full to reflect on the delight I’ve had working with you. Along the thrilling road we’ve traveled, I’ve witnessed monumental personal and professional commitment, sacrifice, trust, and passion. We have a strong foundation in place with a very clear strategy, objectives and priorities; a talented leadership team to help us navigate change; and the inventor of the product and co-founder who is eager to continue executing on our vision.
This news will certainly generate media attention, which will be a first for us, so just be prepared for that because i know it will be a new experience. Remember that the external noise is just that, noise. Continue to focus and execute against the strategy and everything will fall into place. If a member of the media or anyone else outside the company contacts you about today’s announcement, please just give them my home address and ask them to pop by anytime or refer them to the communications team.
From: Jack Dorsey
Date: June 11, 2015
Hello! I hope to be able to say that to each of you in person.
As you all read in Dick’s note, at his request the board is starting a search for Dick’s successor and I am stepping in to help guide that to an outcome that makes us all proud.
I am here to serve all the people and organizations that use Twitter, you and our leadership team, and our shareholders. I am not here to change our direction or strategy.
Let me repeat that: I am not here to change our direction or strategy. I’m excited and inspired by it! And even more so by the team that works tirelessly to see it through. And Dick is entirely to thank here. I respect and admire what he’s selflessly built and assembled. My job is to work with all of you to continue to make that better and better.
I have 3 responsibilities ahead of me:
1. Build the best team dynamic to lead Twitter.
2. Ensure decisions are being made in service of our purpose.
3. Constantly raise the bar of our performance.
And that’s what you should all hold me accountable to. My time here will be focused entirely on working with and through OpComm. You should expect to see me around the SF office a lot. Please say hi!