Is Padmasree Warrior In The Twitter CEO Race?

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 04, 2015

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Twitter is in a mess and is looking for a new boss. In the course of the past 3 months, Twitter stock fell 22 percent. To add to its woes, several executives have quit the company. Dick Costolo’s sudden resignation as CEO of Twitter and then come back of co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, nonetheless met with investor optimism, but the company is on the lookout for a permanent replacement.

According to a report in Bloomberg, Twitter’s search firm, Spencer Stuart, has also been reaching out to potential leaders, including former Cisco Systems executive Padmasree Warrior and CBS Interactive’s Jim Lanzone. 

Warrior, former CTO of Cisco Systems, and the former CTO of Motorola, Inc. Warrior, who has taken the tech world by storm has been successful in driving some of the key tech initiatives at the companies she has worked, including incubation of new technologies and strategic acquisitions. A graduate from IIT-Delhi who completed masters in chemical engineering at Cornell, her achievements and creative leadership have been widely recognized in the industry. Before joining Cisco, Warrior was the CTO at Motorola, and led her team to win the prestigious National Technology Award in 2004.

Jim Lanzone joined CBS Interactive as president and CEO in 2011, when the CBS unit acquired his online TV startup Clicker. Before founding Clicker, Lanzone spent seven years at Ask.com, serving as the company’s CEO from 2006 to 2008.

At Twitter’s board meets on Thursday and plans to discuss the results from the search so far, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. Investors are getting impatient for directors to make a decision, or at least give a detailed update on the process, said Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Robert W Baird & Co. “The company, its employees and certainly its shareholders are in a little bit of limbo,” he says adding “That qualifies it as an urgent matter of business.”

The social media company is supposedly running out of time. Twitter’s board didn’t have a succession plan in place when former chief executive Dick Costolo departed, even though it wasn’t a surprise exit. That means they’re doing the search with the public knowing it’s happening, opening themselves up to scrutiny about their every move, Pozner said.

Twitter has long struggled to gain users at the rate of other social media companies, such as Facebook Inc Instagram and Snapchat. Data firm eMarketer projects that Twitter’s monthly user base will grow at 14.1 percent this year, compared to more than 30 percent two years ago. 

There were always speculations on who would replace Costolo. Names such as Kevin Wein and Antony Nato have been mentioned as prospective CEO candidates internally. There are several names for a new Twitter CEO, from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom.

Twitter co-founders Biz Stone, Evan Williams can also be good potential candidates, he said, though all three are currently engaged in other projects. Adam Bain, Twitter’s revenue chief, according to the news site is also an internal candidate, though he’s unsure whether taking the job might jeopardize his relationship with Dorsey, people familiar with the matter have said.