Evan Williams leaves Twitter to @jack and co.

Former founder, CEO and head of product at Twitter leaves former digs to bright, unpaved future

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
March 30, 2011
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One classic tweeter in, one classic tweeter out.

Just a day after Twitter’s original chief executive Jack Dorsey revealed that he will be returning to the company to head product, another former Twitter CEO, Evan Williams (@ev), announced that he will be playing a less active role in the development of the microblogging service.

In the man’s own words:

After stepping down from CEO six months ago, my mind started to wander. The reason I left Blogger/Google when I did is that I felt it had reached a place where it was on solid ground and in capable hands (at the time, Jason Goldman’s as product manager). Though still an independent company, I realized Twitter may be at a similar point today. So, as was reported in various places yesterday, I've decided to scale back my role at the company. (I'm still involved, but it's no longer my full-time job.)

Many had suspected this to be the case when Dorsey stated, with reiteration by CEO Dick Costolo, that he would be returning to Twitter to lead product. Nearly half a year ago, when Evan Williams stepped down as chief executive, to be replaced by Costolo, Williams had said that he liked the switch because it meant he could focus on product strategy, his self-proclaimed area of expertise. With Dorsey taking up the product reins, however, there leaves little room for Williams.

Though he will no longer be working at Twitter day-to-day, Williams remains on the company's board of directors, so he will no doubt have a hand in the company's major movements going forward.

“I’m not ready to talk about what I have planned next,” continues Williams, in his farewell to Twitter, “but I will venture a prediction about what's next for Twitter: It will be bigger and better.”

As Williams says in his post, Blogger doesn’t really get talked much about anymore, but, even after so many years, it’s still one of the Web’s most potent sources of new and bountiful blogs. WordPress has certainly risen in prominence over the last couple years, but neither is clearly dominant.

So, he’s probably right about Twitter.

All that said, any guesses what Williams’ next big project will be? I mean, let’s look at the progression. Blogger is long-form expression. Twitter is short-form expression. Project #3? Express yourself in one character or less. Welcome to the future.

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