HR & Management

Outpaced by Instagram, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey expected to return as CEO

4 min read

01 October 2015

Former deputy editor

Since the departure of Dick Costolo, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has held the post of interim CEO at the social network – a role that is reported to become permanent.

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Rival social networks Facebook and Twitter continue to increase the focus on consumers and businesses alike, but, having smashed the milestone for one billion users in a single day, the former is clearly the leader.

Even 2010-launched Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook for $1bn in 2012, topped 400m users in September 2015. This outpaces Twitter’s following of 316m, despite a four-year head start – even 2011-launched Snapchat is thought to have 200m users.

As such, Twitter seemingly needs a plan for growth as it competes with Instagram to generate revenue from the lucrative SME community – Instagram has expanded services, while Twitter’s business support has launched in more markets.

According to a report from Re/Code, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey could be the leader of the plan in a somewhat surprising return to the business as permanent CEO.

Although former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo left the company in June, at which time Snoop Dogg put himself forward for the job, the company is yet to name a full-time successor.

Dorsey has kept the company running as interim CEO in the meantime, but the decision to make him the permanent CEO would clash with the decision to take the title from him back in 2008, at which time he was pushed out of the business with only the title of chairman to hold on to.

The reasons documented for his ousting are varied. They include disagreements with co-founder Evan Williams, poor communication with board members and also too many hobbies getting in the way of his leadership.

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Since that time, however, Dorsey appears to have grown wiser. In 2010 he founded mobile payments service Square, where he is the CEO, and the firm is on a mission to go public. 

His commitment to Square had previously been something that had him out of the running of becoming Costolo’s successor, though the board appears to have had a change of heart.

According to the report, sources have said that Twitter’s revenue chief Adam Bain – who is expected to become COO – and CFO Anthony Noto have told the board they want Dorsey to lead the business.

Dorsey reportedly told the board that the product team needs to step up during the company’s last earnings call, and it’s thought the founder’s vision for the future will help get the company’s long-term plan in order – something Costolo was criticised for failing to achieve.

If the decision does go ahead, it would not be the first time a move like this has happened. In August, Tinder co-founder Sean Rad, who was previously caught in the middle of a sexual harassment lawsuit, was named the CEO of the company just months after the rank was taken from him in March.