Twitter gives co-founder Jack Dorsey a 2nd chance as CEO
Twitter is embracing Jack Dorsey as its CEO in hopes that its once-spurned co-founder can hatch a plan to expand the short messaging service’s audience and end nearly a decade of financial losses.
The hiring revealed Monday in a regulatory filing ends Twitter’s three-month search for a new leader. It marks Dorsey’s second stint as CEO since he helped start the San Francisco company more than nine years ago with Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass.
Twitter dumped Dorsey his first time around, but its board of directors is now convinced he has the maturity and expertise to fix the problems that have caused the company’s stock to lose nearly half its value in the past five months.
“As a founder and inventor of the product, Jack knows more about Twitter than anyone else,” said Peter Currie, the Twitter director who led the search for a new CEO.
Investors applauded the move as Twitter’s stock surged $1.53, or almost 6 percent, to $27.84 in early afternoon trading.
Dorsey, 38, has already had dress rehearsal for the job, having become Twitter’s interim CEO in July after former stand-up comedian and veteran entrepreneur Dick Costolo stepped down amid shareholder discontent. Costolo is relinquishing his seat on Twitter’s board now that Dorsey is permanent CEO.
Twitter had considered its chief revenue officer, Adam Bain, and several other CEO candidates before settling on Dorsey. Bain, 42, is being promoted to chief operating officer to handle more duties as he teams up with Dorsey to try to turn Twitter into a profitable business.
“The world needs a Twitter that not only remains relevant, but thrives and continues to redefine what came before it,” Dorsey told analysts Monday during a conference call. “It is our goal to exceed the expectations that the world has for us.”
Dorsey will no longer be Twitter’s chairman, but he will continue as CEO of Square Inc., a company he co-founded in 2009, as he prepares that company for its initial public offering of stock. Twitter plans to recruit an outsider to become Twitter’s new chairman, Currie said.
In its hiring of Dorsey, Twitter’s board recanted on a pledge issued in late June when it vowed to pick a CEO who would be able to make a “full-time commitment” to the company. Currie said the board changed its mind as it watched Dorsey surpass its expectations as interim CEO and help Twitter “find a new gear under his leadership.”