Jack Dorsey will be named the permanent CEO of Twitter, according to a report in Recode. Dorsey, a cofounder of Twitter who is currently serving as the internet company’s interim CEO, could be named Twitter’s permanent CEO as soon as Thursday.
Dorsey will retain his current job as CEO of digital payments company Square, Recode said, citing anonymous sources. That means that Dorsey will be doing double duty as full-time CEO of two companies, one of which — Square — is said to be preparing for an initial public offering.
Twitter’s board will also undergo some changes, according to the report. Dick Costolo, Twitter’s previous CEO, will apparently exit the board.
Dorsey’s appointment to the top job would end a nearly four-month search, following Costolo’s abrupt resignation in June. During that time, Twitter’s stock has plunged by roughly 30% — occasionally dipping below its $US26 IPO price — the company’s user growth has remained stagnant and a number of executives and managers have jumped ship or been ousted. Morale within the company’s rank-and-file has also suffered.
But while Dorsey’s status as a founder of the company and his product vision could help Twitter revitalize a product that has fallen behind faster-growing rivals such as Instagram, his dual jobs will present a new set of challenges for Twitter.
Working two full-time CEO jobs is an incredibly difficult task, with the few precedents belonging to larger-than-life entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, who for a while helmed Apple and Pixar, and Elon Musk, who is the CEO of electric-car maker Tesla Motors and of SpaceX.
Dorsey’s job will be doubly difficult given the many challenges facing Twitter, which has experienced a severe slowdown in user growth and which critics say remains too difficult for the average person to use.
The board backtracked
Twitter’s board had initially insisted that the next permanent CEO would have to make a “full-time commitment” to Twitter, a stipulation that would have seemed to rule Dorsey out unless he resigned from Square. But Dorsey has shown no willingness to leave Square, and Twitter’s board has apparently been forced to backtrack.
Twitter revenue boss Adam Bain was also a leading candidate for the job, but according to Recode, Bain refused to take the job so long as Dorsey was interested.
While Twitter’s board said it was considering internal and external candidates, it does not appear that any external candidates were seriously considered — or at the least, no big names were reported to be in serious discussions about the job during the search process.
Shares of Twitter were up 2.7% at $US26.29 in midday trading Wednesday.
Twitter declined to comment.