There has been a lot of executive turnover at Twitter since its founding in 2006. According
USA Today and a leak from Nick Bilton’s book, The Hatching Of Twitter, its current CEO Dick Costolo was fired for a split second in 2010 when he was the company’s COO.
Here’s what happened, according to Bilton and USA Today:
Costolo’s fleeting dismissal was the result of a tense board meeting in September 2010. At that time, Twitter was searching for a new CEO to replace Evan Williams. There was talk that the presence of Costolo could make a CEO search difficult.
An advisor to Twitter’s board, famed CEO coach Bill Campbell, decided Costolo needed to go, even though another board member asked to discuss the matter further.
Instead, Campbell left the boardroom, found Costolo in his office, and fired him face to face.
Costolo later sent an email asking about his severance package. The board told him he still had his job.
According to an AllThingsD source, it’s true that the board had a momentary “lapse in judgement” but Costolo never “never actually stopped working for the company.”
Costolo’s firing would have been a huge mistake. Under Costolo, Twitter grew from a popular product to a real business. It made only a few million dollars when Costolo became CEO and had a few hundred employees.
Now the company has 2,000 people and more than $US500 million in annual revenue. Costolo is also responsible for cleaning up Twitter’s messy board, harpooning Twitter’s fail whale problem once and for all, and improving the company’s culture.
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