Twitter shares up as Jack Dorsey outlines 'ambitious' goals

Steven Loeb · October 5, 2015 · Short URL:

The new CEO says we will see 'dramatic evolutions across Twitter, Periscope and Vine'

The news we've been waiting for has finally been made official: Jack Dorsey is staying at Twitter as its permanent CEO.

Interestingly, Dorsey will continue to serve as a member of the Board, but will no longer act as Chairman, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In addition, the company also appointed Adam Bain, who served as Twitter’s President, Global Revenue & Partnerships, to the role of Chief Operating Officer. Also, as it had been rumored, former CEO  Dick Costolo resigned from the Board. 

In an investor call held this morning, Dorsey outlined his goals now that he is back at the company he founded.

"This is a really exciting day for me, and I'm honored by the trust the Board has placed in me to continue to run Twitter on a permanent basis. My commitment to Twitter runs incredibly deep. No one is more determined than I am to see this company achieve its promise," he said.

"In the last three months we've made significant strides towards the three priorities we discussed in June and, again, in our Q2 earnings call. Disciplined execution, simplifying the service, and better communicating our value."

To do this, Twitter has increased both the "pace and quality" of its product launches, thanks to the product team spending its summer "shipping important improvements to our offerings." That includes longer direct messages, TV and event timeline experiences, new improvements to Periscope, self-serve Twitter global advertising, event targeting for ads, Twitter audience platform and commerce platform integrations with companies like Stripe, Shopify and Demandware.

The "ambitious roadmaps" for 2016 will see "dramatic evolutions across Twitter, Periscope and Vine."

"They're bold plans and I can't wait for everyone to see them implemented," Dorsey said.

The company will also implementing its "first, real, integrated marketing campaign timed around the release of Project Lighting. Tied to something new, in Twitter, for people to experience." 

The "Project Lightning" initiative, is designed to curate live events and news by aggregating tweets and photos from live events and breaking-news situations.

"The world needs a Twitter that not only remains relevant, but thrives and continues to redefine what came before it. It's our goal to exceed the expecations the world has for us, and raise them on ourselves," said Dorsey.

Running Square

As expected, Dorsey will also continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer of Square, the payments and financial services company he co-founded in 2009.

In the call, Dorsey discussed how is able to run both companies at the same time.

"My ability to manage both Twitter and Square is made possible by the great teams at both companies. Having been in this position of having run both companies for the last three months, I can say from daily experience that both have world class leaders dedicated to each company's mission," he said.

However, when asked about how his time would be split, either he forgot to answer that part of the question (there were multiple parts) or he pretended to.

How the world is reacting

When the rumors came out last week that Dorsey was going to be named as permanent CEO, Twitter's stock rose, then fell sharply.

So how is the world reacting now? Well, investors seem happy again, as Twitter's stock is currently up over 5% to $27.65 a share.

Analysts seem happy as well.

Doug Anmuth, analyst at JP Morgan called the news "positive for multiple reasons."

"First, as a co-founder he should bring a founder element and ethos to the company, and we believe he is well respected within and around the organization. Second, we believe he is focused on strategic vision and product, and he should be able to recruit key talent even in an increasingly competitive environment," he wrote in a note.

"Third, establishing Jack Dorsey as CEO beyond an interim basis—rather than going with an external candidate—also enables TWTR to retain Adam Bain in the elevated role of Chief Operating Officer, and for him to continue his efforts building out the sales force and overall monetization."

Also happy is Dorsey's fellow Twitter co-founder Ev Williams, who wrote a blog post entitled, "Why I’m glad Jack is back at Twitter."

"Today is a new day. Twitter is bigger and more important to the world than we ever dreamed when we started. And it still has incredible, unrealized potential. It will not be easy to unlock it. But we have thousands of smart, creative people working every day to make the company great," said Williams.

"And Jack has already demonstrated the ability to inspire the team and think boldly about the next phase of Twitter. His connection to its roots informs a depth of vision and authenticity of voice, which I’ve been excited to hear."

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