But don’t expect Dorsey to get the top job permanently: Twitter’s board of directors has made it quite clear today that they don’t want him.
The company announced on Monday that it had hired headhunters Spencer Stuart to find the new chief executive, and confirmed that it wasn’t interested in getting a candidate who spends some of their time elsewhere. “The Committee will only consider candidates for recommendation to the full Board who are in a position to make a full-time commitment to Twitter,” it said in a statement.
The statement has been widely interpreted as being directed at Dorsey, who is still the chief executive of electronic payments company Square. Dorsey founded the firm in May 2010, 18 months after his stint as Twitter’s founding chief executive came to an end. According to Nick Bilton, author of Hatching Twitter, that first ouster came because he didn’t spend enough time in the office, leaving work “around 6pm for drawing classes, hot yoga sessions and a course at a local fashion school”.
“You can either be a dressmaker or the CEO of Twitter,” the company’s co-founder and Dorsey’s successor as chief executive, Evan Williams, reportedly told him, “but you can’t be both.”
Peter Currie, the chair of the committee in charge of finding Twitter’s next chief, repeated the double-edged praise for Dorsey: “The Board has the utmost confidence in the strong management team Dick has assembled and in Jack Dorsey’s ability to lead the company on an interim basis while we identify a permanent CEO,” he said in a statement.
“We also believe much more can be done to realise Twitter’s enormous unmet long-term potential. In our next CEO, we are looking for a bold thinker and proven leader capable of helping Twitter fully capitalise on its unique platform for the benefit of users, advertisers and employees, and to maximise value for investors in the years ahead,” Currie added.
Twitter’s new chief executive inherits a company with stagnating user growth and revenue far less than what Wall Street expects of a web firm of its size. But recent announcements from the company have shown a product team eager to expand on its strengths, particularly live events and “second screen” use.
Revealed on Friday, Project Lightning is one: the new feature sees Twitter taking an active editorial role during live events, seeking out the best content both on and off the network and embedding it in a dedicated section of the social network’s app. The tool bears a similarity to rival Snapchat’s “Live Stories”, which also involves editorially driven content sent out to every one of the app’s users, but bears a stronger geographic focus.
Eventually, Twitter sees itself curating seven to 10 events a day, and opening the tools up to external organisations to do the same.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010