The last time Twitter CEO Dick Costolo made a public appearance was the Re/code conference in late May, where he said he wasn’t worried about his job and that he was in perfect sync with the company’s board.
A few days ago, Dick Costolo announced that he’d be stepping down this July, with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey replacing him as interim CEO.
Today, on stage at the Bloomberg Technology Conference, Dick Costolo took the stage once again for a conversation with Bloomberg’s Brad Stone about his departure from the company and why he believes in Jack Dorsey.
“You make it sound like I’m dead,” Costolo told Stone, who started the interview by recounting Twitter’s accomplishments during his reign, which saw the company’s valuation raise for $US3 billion to $US23 billion following an IPO.
Costolo reiterated the same story we’ve heard before about how his departure was set in stone after a recent Twitter board meeting.
The natural topic of conversation was Twitter’s hunt for a new CEO. Costolo wouldn’t go into specifics on the search, saying that there are multiple ways to run a successful company, and that the idea of a Steve Jobs-style super-CEO can be dangerous to a business.
“We tend to create these mythologies about great CEOs. The problem with those is that they get boiled down into this almost comic book notion of what that person is like,” Costolo says. “The reality is, you have to be yourself.”
What Costolo wants to see in Twitter’s next CEO is someone with “self-awareness” who can do whatever needs to be done, without ego.
And while he wouldn’t comment on who was and wasn’t in contention for the title, he had nothing but praise for many of Twitter’s existing executives, including incoming interim CEO Jack Dorsey, who Costolo says he’s “delighted” to bring back in.
“He has this fluency about this way he thinks about the product, and about its potential,” Costolo says on Dorsey. In fact, the two get dinner every Tuesday night to talk Twitter, he says. That said, Costolo insists Dorsey’s not a shoe-in for permanent CEO, as some have surmised.
“The board is legitimately doing a search,” Costolo says.
He had a ton of praise for Twitter President of Global Revenue Adam Bain, who’s widely considered a top internal candidate for the CEO job.
“I can’t speak highly enough about that guy,” Costolo says of Bain, noting that “his energy level off the charts.”
Anthony Noto got a shout-out, even though “he gets beat up for that DM fail,” Costolo says. So did SVP of Engineering Alex Roetter and others, rapid-fire.
“I truly believe it’s one of the best leadership teams in the industry,” Costolo says.
As for the criticism of Twitter that’s come from quarters like investor Chris Sacca, Costolo says “you can’t take any of that stuff personally” and he said that he’s proud of the company he built.
“We like the strategy that’s in place. And until further notice, we’re going to continue down that path,” Costolo says.
Post-Twitter, Costolo hasn’t quite decided what he wants to do, though he plans on staying on Twitter’s board “indefinitely.”
What’s for sure, Costolo says, is that he’s not planning on revisiting to his earlier career in comedy.
“I don’t think it would be a smart move for me to return to stand-up comedy,” Costolo says. “I get heckled for free now.”
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