Is Jack Dorsey Twitter's 'Permanent' CEO Now!

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 01, 2015


Twitter co-founder and interim Chief Executive Jack Dorsey is expected to be named permanent CEO later today, while retaining his job as the head of online payment service Square, according to tech news website Re/code that quoted sources familiar with the development. The news raised questions over whether Dorsey could run both companies at the same time, and whether that would create a conflict of interest.

Will history repeat itself?

In Hatching Twitter, Nick Bilton’s book about Twitter’s early days, Dorsey is painted as a bad manager who took credit for everything, handled criticism poorly, and didn’t know how to manage - and pushed out of the company he co-founded, alongside Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass, in 2006.

A recent Fortune article states: In 2010, as Dorsey was founding Square, he “went rogue,” according to Hatching Twitter, planting numerous media stories about how he’d founded Twitter, invented the product, and was the sole visionary architect behind it. 

Meanwhile, Dorsey created a new Steve Jobs-like image for himself, quoting Gandhi and the Beatles. He donned a uniform like Jobs, cribbed Jobs’ design principles and vocabulary at Square, nd even began to poach Apple employees, reads the report.

After all, Jobs had been pushed out of the company he founded, too. Jobs also founded a new company, Pixar, in the interim, took it public, and ran it even when he returned to Apple. Mirroring that path, Dorsey plans to run Square, which plans to go public soon, and Twitter simultaneously.

That image as a visionary is why investors want him back at Twitter, said the Fortune report.

Emerging better, stronger…

Some investors said Dorsey was a more effective leader now than some years ago, when the co-founder was fired from his first stint as Twitter CEO. Reports suggested Dorsey’s attention was on other projects, and he struggled to manage frequent outages during a period of exploding growth.

“No one knows the product better than Jack,” SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck told Reuters, citing faster product rollouts since Dorsey took over the top post on an interim basis since July.

”Dorsey’s success with Square gives him renewed clout to lead Twitter, said Gartner analyst Brian Blau. “He’s already invented a whole new category,” said Blau. “That gives him a lot of credibility when it comes to what to do next with Twitter.”

FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi however told the agency, “Jack Dorsey would be the right guy (for the job) if he were not running Square… They (Square) have a lot of challenges competing with a lot of other payments companies, and that’s going to need a lot of attention.”

Dorsey has not dismissed the idea of becoming permanent CEO of Twitter while staying at Square, but Twitter’s board has said its next CEO must be focused solely on that company. Square, which pioneered the use of instant payments over smartphones and is worth about $6 billion based on its most recent round of funding, plans to file for an IPO shortly, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s last CEO, Dick Costolo, announced his decision to step down in June, under mounting concerns about the company’s slow user growth and seeming inability to attract advertisers at the same rate as competitors.

Other potential candidates mentioned for the top job at Twitter include Adam Bain, the company’s president and head of revenue; Instagram founder Kevin Systrom; and Evan Williams, another co-founder of Twitter who was once its CEO and heads blogging website Medium.

(With inputs from Reuters)