After a little bit of shareholder pressure, Twitter said it is looking for a CEO with a "full-time commitment" to running the microblogging service, potentially sending a message to founder Jack Dorsey.
The board announced Monday that it has established a search committee and hired executive search firm Spencer Stuart to find outgoing CEO Dick Costolo's replacement. The board said it will be looking at candidates both inside and outside of Twitter, and that it would take the time necessary to find the right person.
With Twitter chairman and co-founderon July 1, there is speculation that he could make the job title permanent -- a scenario that he has refused to comment on. But the wording of the board's statement, specifically the desire for a full-time commitment, may be more than the boilerplate CEO search language. It could hint at Dorsey's other gig as the CEO of mobile-payments startup Square. Whether it suggests Dorsey isn't in contention or that he should drop his other gig is unclear.
Twitter is moving quickly after Chris Sacca, one of Twitter's earliest and biggest investors, said the handling of the CEO transition was
In response, Twitter said today that it was moving with a "sense of urgency."
Costolo announced June 11 he was stepping aside after months of speculation as the company has repeatedly disappointed Wall Street investors with its financial performance. He will remain on the board.
Twitter has had a difficult time satisfying Wall Street since going public in 2013. Analysts say the company hasand lure more users. Peter Currie, Twitter's lead independent director and chair of the search committee, said Monday the board has the "utmost confidence" in Dorsey's ability to lead as they search for a new CEO.
"We are confident in Twitter's product roadmap and excited by the current pipeline. We also believe much more can be done to realize Twitter's enormous unmet long-term potential," Currie said. "In our next CEO, we are looking for a bold thinker and proven leader capable of helping Twitter fully capitalize on its unique platform for the benefit of users, advertisers and employees, and to maximize value for investors in the years ahead."
"Investors were left trying to interpret seemingly conflicting accounts and trying to read the tea leaves about where the company was going," Sacca wrote in a blog post Thursday titled "What Twitter Says, and what Investors Hear." "Along the way, specific statements about Twitter's future crushed investor hopes and turned what could have been a very positive event for the company into a debilitating mess."
Duringin San Francisco last week, Costolo said the company's next chief should be resilient and self-aware and that he or she should have the "leeway" to do whatever needs doing -- downplaying the notion that his replacement should be only a technical and product leader.
"We tend to create these mythologies about great CEOs," he said, "and the problem with those is they sort of get boiled down to this almost comic book notion of what that person was like."