All good things come to an end. For Dick Costolo, his reign as the CEO of Twitter—one of the world’s biggest social networking companies—is soon ending. Costolo, who took the helm in 2009, will be stepping down as CEO on July 1st, the company said in a statement.
Twitter’s Board of Directors has appointed Jack Dorsey, the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board as Interim CEO. Dorsey is also the CEO of Square, a payments service he started. He will be balancing both positions as Twitter searches for a successor.
Meanwhile, Costolo will remain on Twitter’s Board of Directors. Twitter created a search committee with the help of a leading executive search firm to conduct a “global” search. The company is considering internal and external candidates for the top position. Wall Street responded favourably to the news, increasing Twitter’s stock to 10 percent after hours Thursday.
Costolo had been asking Twitter’s top management to replace him as CEO, according to the New York Times. But eventually the board kept Costolo, urging him to strengthen the company’s management team while laying out a strategy to follow. Costolo decided to leave now because staying on while the company finds a successor might intensify criticisms, he said in a conference call today.
Twitter has been scrutinized for its sluggish user growth. The social network’s stock plummeted a couple of months ago after missing its Q1 financial targets. It didn’t help when Chris Sacca, an influential shareholder, publicly called for a change in how the company executes its strategies. In an open letter, Mr. Sacca urged Twitter to experiment more.
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Nevertheless, Costolo will be remembered for building Twitter’s management team and leading the company’s monetization strategies. “I am tremendously proud of the Twitter team and all that the team has accomplished together during my six years with the company. I am deeply appreciative of the confidence the board, the management team and the employees have placed in me over the years,” Costolo said.