Last Thursday, Twitter announced that the company’s Co-founder and CEO, Dick Costolo, is stepping down on July 1st. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and board chairman, will take over as interim CEO while the company seeks a permanent replacement. Mr. Costolo will remain on the company’s board of directors.
“I am tremendously proud of the Twitter team and all that the team has accomplished together during my six years with the Company,” Mr. Costolo said. “We have great leaders who work well together and a clear strategy that informs our objectives and priorities. There is no one better than Jack Dorsey to lead Twitter during this transition.”
Dick Costolo to step down as CEO, will remain on Board, and Jack Dorsey appointed Interim CEO, effective July 1
— TwitterIR (@TwitterIR) June 11, 2015
The day after the announcement, outgoing CEO Mr. Costolo and Mr. Dorsey gave an exclusive interview to CNBC’s Squawk on the Street to explain Mr. Costolo’s decision to step down and Mr. Dorsey’s future prospects for the company.
Then, there was Mr. Dorsey’s unkempt beard, which became a complete distraction. According to show’s host David Faber, the beard was the topic of most questions he received from the audience during the interview, blocking any goals that Twitter’s media relations and comms folk may have hoped to achieve to reassure investors with the not-so-dynamic-duo’s appearance in the program.
To make matters worse, Mr. Dorsey kept plugging his side venture, Square, Inc., in a clear demonstration of his lack of commitment to turning Twitter around while raising the question: what kind of management is Twitter going to have in the next few months, as its search committee stakes out a permanent replacement for Mr. Costolo?
“It’s not even a question I’m considering right now,” Mr. Dorsey replied when asked whether he would accept the CEO job full-time if offered the position. “We have a great search committee looking for the right fit for Twitter long-term and my focus right now is to make sure our product cadence and momentum of execution continues within the company and also to make sure Square continues its cadence and its momentum with our strong team over there.”
And after praising Mr. Costolo for building a great management team at Twitter, Mr. Dorsey boasted his team at Square.
“I am extremely proud of the team and our execution over the past 6 months, and even our recent announcements.”
When pressed to answer yes or no to whether he would accept a full-time CEO job at Twitter, he reiterated his lack of interest.
“I’m not focused on that, that’s not my job. My job is to make sure we continue with our cadence and amplify and accelerate our execution,” Mr. Dorsey insisted.
The company’s stock has lost nearly 14 percent of its value since going public in November, 2013. Mr. Costolo has been bitterly criticized for his lack of success jump starting Twitter’s lackluster user growth, which pales in comparison to rival social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Critics say that users are turned away by the site’s difficult navigation and have pressed the company to simplify the service in order to make it more user-friendly.
Twitter’s stock rallied on Thursday, after news of the CEO switcheroo broke. According to the International Business Times reported that Twitter’s shares jumped 8 percent in extended-hours trading Thursday after the social media company’s announcement.
But closed just 0.2 percent higher at $35.90 by the end of trading day on Friday.
Mr. Twitter bird, where art your media training folk? Did they take a collective summer vacation?
The only adjective I can conjure up to describe this interview is bizarre. I am sure that Mr. Costolo and Mr. Dorsey’s lack of enthusiasm and Mr. Dorsey’s hideous beard caused most PR professionals who watched that hot mess of an interview to cringe or binge eat his or her heart out all the way through.
Even Mr. Dorsey’s mom, Marcia Dorsey, hated on the beard on Twitter.
FYI… Not a fan of the beard. @jack has a great face. Like to see it.
— Marcia Dorsey (@marciadorsey) June 12, 2015
Perhaps both execs are burnt out from the scrutiny and pressure that comes with running a public company and disenchanted with the whole thing. But after all the pressure from the investor community for Mr. Costolo to step down and the long-awaited announcement that he is finally going to do so, the two executives should have gracefully bitten the bullet and shown some enthusiasm for Twitter’s future prospects.
Errr… great job, media team?