Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square, has been named Twitter’s permanent CEO.
Dorsey stepped in as interim CEO of Twitter in place of Dick Costolo in July.
Dorsey is currently CEO of Square, which will be going public. He plans to do both jobs at once.
News of Dorsey’s hire broke last Wednesday afternoon.
According to Twitter’s SEC filing, the board made the decision on Wednesday, September 30.
In addition to Dorsey becoming full-time CEO, Adam Bain is being promoted to COO. He was previously president of global revenue. Former CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down from the board.
Dorsey tweetstormed about the promotion, saying:
The stock is up 3% in pre-market trading on the news.
This is not the first time Dorsey has been CEO of Twitter.
In his first run as CEO back in 2008, Dorsey was a seen as a dilettante.
His interest in and facility with the financial side of the business left much to be desired back then. Dorsey, according to Nick Bilton’s book Hatching Twitter, made mathematical errors while keeping track of Twitter’s expenses. He set up partnerships with texting companies but SMS fees were so high, Twitter was spending nearly 6-figures per month.
Dorsey had also not yet focused entirely on Twitter: He wanted to be a fashion designer, and he’d often leave work to take night classes. He also left early for art and yoga classes. His extracurriculars eventually became such a distraction, Bilton reported, that Williams eventually sat down with Dorsey and said, “You can either be a dressmaker or the CEO of Twitter. But you can’t be both.”
That was a lifetime ago, though. His early mistakes should not be held against him today. He is a much better leader, having successfully founded and led Square.
More worrisome is that Dorsey had a stint as product chief in 2011. That too was disastrous. Twitter employees who worked with him then complained that he was “difficult to work with and repeatedly changed his mind about product ideas,” according to Bilton.
But, this is a different era. Perhaps Dorsey is wiser, better prepared to run Twitter.
He returns at a critical time for the company.
The company’s stock has cratered below its IPO pricing, as people question whether it will ever be a mainstream product. While over 300 million people use it on a monthly basis, it’s still small compared to its peers. Facebook has 1.5 billion monthly users. Instagram has 400 million users. Snapchat is ascendant and could soon pass Twitter in monthly usage.
The challenge for Dorsey is that over a billion people have tried Twitter and decided it’s not for them. He’ll have to tweak the product to win back those disaffected users.
Here is the full SEC filing announcing the hire:
On September 30, 2015, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Twitter, Inc. (“Twitter”) appointed Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder and interim Chief Executive Officer, as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Dorsey will continue to serve as a member of the Board, but will no longer act as Chairman. Mr. Dorsey will also continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer of Square, Inc., the payments and financial services company he co-founded in 2009.
Mr. Dorsey, 38, is one of Twitter’s co-founders and has served as interim Chief Executive Officer since July 2015, Chairman of the Board since October 2008 and as a member of the Board since May 2007. Mr. Dorsey served as Twitter’s President and Chief Executive Officer from May 2007 to October 2008. Since February 2009, Mr. Dorsey has served as Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Square, Inc. Mr. Dorsey also currently serves on the boards of directors of The Walt Disney Company and Square, Inc. Mr. Dorsey was selected to serve on the Board because of the perspective and experience he brings as one of Twitter’s founders and as one of Twitter’s largest stockholders, as well as his extensive experience with technology companies.
There are currently no plans to provide Mr. Dorsey with direct compensation for his role as Chief Executive Officer. There are no arrangements or understandings between Mr. Dorsey and any other persons pursuant to which he was selected as Chief Executive Officer. There are also no family relationships between Mr. Dorsey and any director or executive officer of Twitter and he has no direct or indirect material interest in any transaction required to be disclosed pursuant to Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K.
On September 30, 2015, the Board appointed Adam Bain as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Bain, 42, served as Twitter’s President, Global Revenue & Partnerships from September 2010 to October 2015. From September 1999 to September 2010, Mr. Bain served in several roles at News Corporation, a diversified media company, including as Executive Vice President of Products & Technology and as President of its advertising arm, Fox Audience Network, Inc. Mr. Bain holds a B.A. in English Journalism from Miami University.
There are no arrangements or understandings between Mr. Bain and any other persons pursuant to which he was selected as Chief Operating Officer. There are also no family relationships between Mr. Bain and any director or executive officer of Twitter and he has no direct or indirect material interest in any transaction required to be disclosed pursuant to Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K.
On September 30, 2015, Richard Costolo resigned from the Board.
This is not Dorsey’s first time as CEO of Twitter. He led Twitter when the company was first formed, and was later ousted.
Here are our live notes from the call about Twitter naming Jack CEO.
Peter Currie: 15 search committee meetings. 24 meetings with candidates.
A world class leader with a track record of success, a leader that can articulate a direction, an executive with a demonstrated record of succeeding, and someone that understands company culture.
The board unanimously decided Jack was that leader.
We didn’t not start search with this scenario in mind. But Jack surpassed our expectations in the interim role.
Twitter looking for an outside board member to be chairman.
Jack Dorsey: Thank you… Twitter has forver changed communication. We’ve also built an amazing business going from $US0 to $US2 billion run rate.
Adam Bain: Honored to take on more responsibilities. I’ve worked with Jack since 2010, and we’ve met on a regular basis. Our partnership has gotten stronger over the past 3 months. Senior staff working better together than ever.
Jack: currently the product makes people do a lot of work to realise value. There are a lot of initiatives to get value out of Twitter. At the same time, people that use a lot will get more utility.
What I’ve seen over last 3 months is an extremely extremely strong team. More aligment around our purpose.
Noto: No updates on MAUs, results on 10/27.
Jack: Roadmap/initiatives, Project Lightning still not launched.
Jack: Morale at Twitter is really strong. We think this is a positive. Adds clarity. Great teams want to do one thing: Ship products people want to use on a daily basis.
Peter Currie: The really pursavsive point of view was Jack in the job for 3 months. What got us comfortable was a couple of things. Jack in CEO role, execution, product cadence. Board’s view is the team found a new gear under his leadership.