Twitter co-founder Ev Williams makes peace with new CEO Jack Dorsey

Despite past differences, Williams says his relationship with the new chief executive is stronger than it has been "in years."

Terry Collins Staff Reporter, CNET News
Terry writes about social networking giants and legal issues in Silicon Valley for CNET News. He joined CNET News from the Associated Press, where he spent the six years covering major breaking news in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the AP, Terry worked at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star. Terry's a native of Chicago.
Terry Collins
2 min read

Jack Dorsey (left) and Evan Williams (right) at the New York Stock Exchange for Twitter's IPO in 2013. Williams says the two are getting along. LAN/Corbis

Ev Williams is smoothing things over with fellow Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

Just two days after Dorsey was brought back for a second stint as Twitter's CEO, Williams called him the "best choice" to lead the influential, but stagnant, social network. The appointment requires Dorsey to split his time between Twitter and Square, a mobile-payments company he started after he was ousted from Twitter seven years ago, a shakeup Williams reportedly had a hand in.

"No one would say this is ideal that we would want anyone's time split. But it didn't change the fact that we still thought, despite that, he was the best choice," Williams said Wednesday about Dorsey's return to the lead role at Twitter. His remark came during an interview with Bloomberg TV at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco.

Williams' public vote of support for Dorsey, which he also expressed in a blog post on Monday after Dorsey was renamed CEO, indicates that the contentious relationship between the two is healing. They need to work closely together because Williams is a Twitter board member and the company's biggest shareholder.

In 2008, Williams led a coup to remove Dorsey as CEO before assuming the role himself, according to "Hatching Twitter," a 2013 book by New York Times reporter Nick Bilton. Dorsey wasn't as committed to leading Twitter as he was to extracurricular activities such as fashion and yoga, Bilton wrote. Twitter declined to comment on the book.

Williams said Wednesday that his relationship with Dorsey has improved.

"It's been better than it's been in years," Williams said. "We have come together through this process."

During a later panel discussion, Williams also said the focus on Twitter's user growth, which has stagnated at 316 million people, is overblown. The company has done a good job of driving revenue, he said, though he acknowledged the service wanted to rope in more users.

In July, Twitter reported $502 million in revenue, exceeding analysts' projections of $480 million.

To lure more users, Twitter introduced on Tuesday a feature called Moments, which offers curated collections of tweets and discussions across the service.