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When Dick Costolo announced this summer that his days as CEO of Twitter were over, and that Jack Dorsey was taking over on an interim basis, it seemed likely that it would not lead to a full time job. After all, Dorsey has his hands full as the founder and CEO of another big time company, one that is about to go public: Square.
As time went on, however, it started to not sound like such a far out idea. A major investor in Twitterpublically asked him to stay, and no other serious candidates were even being mentioned.
Now, it looks like its actually happening. In fact, Dorsey could be named as permanent CEO of Twitter as early as Thursday, according to a report out from Re/Code.
If this new turns out to be true, it will obviously affect a number of people going forward.
One will be Costolo, who has said he will not be leaving Twitter entirely, and that he would continue to serve on the company's Board of Directors. However there have been rumors that he will step down from that position as well once a permanent CEO is named, and sources told Re/Code that there will be a shakeup on the board once Dorsey is named, with Costolo the first to go.
Conversely, this will be positive news for one of Twitter's most high profile investors, Chris Sacca, who had a complete meltdown earlier this month over the fact that no permanent CEO has been named. He wanted Dorsey to stay, but more than anything he seemed to want someone, anyone, to finally take charge of Twitter.
Sacca owns some 4% of Twitter and is obviously going to be very happy about this news, as investors overall seem to be, as they have sent Twitter's sock up nearly 4% in late trading.
This will also have a big effect on Square. Dorsey's declared that he is "Square CEO and that won’t change," and that part seems to be holding true as well, as he is expected to hold the position at both companies simultaneously.
I can't imagine that will be easy; there's only one other person I can think of who has held the CEO position at two major tech companies at the same time: Elon Musk, who runs SpaceX and Tesla. That is going to be especially true since Square is reportedly seeking an IPO in the fourth quarter of this year, though that can obviously be pushed off a bit while Dorsey adjusts to his dual lifestyle.
Mostly, though, this is a big positive for Twitter, as Dorsey has the gravitas and the respect to lead Twitter during its most trying time, as user numbers remain stagnant, executives are leaving in droves and the company's stock price continues to fall.
Just look at the news that came out on Tuesday that Twitter was finally going to be expanding its traditional 140 character limit. This is something that the company has talked about internally for a long time. Why is it happening now? Because Dorsey wants it to.
Look at this telling quote from a current senior employee at Twitter:
“People have been very precious at Twitter about what Twitter can be and how much it can be evolved. Having Jack come in and say it’s okay makes all the difference in the world.”
As Vator CEO Bambi Francisco wrote when Dorsey was first named as interim CEO: "Few can come close to Musk. But if any of the newly-minted tech CEOs out there has an ability to inspire and get things done, I'd say it would be Jack."
"I first got to know Jack when I interviewed him in 2008 for an hour. That along with reading a bunch of articles and watching videos about him or of him, the person that emerges is one of character, sincerity and commitment, not to mention a person with an astute sense of simplicity in consumer products," she said. "Moreover, he's now had ample opportunity to develop his CEO skills, which he lacked when he was forced to step down back in 2008."
It looks like Dorsey is the leader that Twitter needs. If he can't pull it out of its current doldrums, I don't know who could.
VatorNews has reached out to both Square and to Twitter for comment. We will update this story if we learn more.
(Image source: thewaltdisneycompany.com)
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What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests.
Where did the idea for Twitter come from?
Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.
How is Twitter built?
Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes.
We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.
How do you make money from Twitter?
There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.
In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet.
At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.
Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.
What's next for Twitter?
We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users.
We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.
Joined Vator onFounder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.