Twitter's Costolo not worried about job security

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo says he's not worried as questions resurface about his job after company's disappointing first-quarter earnings.

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
3 min read

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo says he is not worried about job security. Getty Images

After Twitter followers saw another disappointing earnings period Tuesday, questions about whether CEO Dick Costolo's job are resurfacing. But there's one person who doesn't think so -- Costolo himself.

"I don't worry about job security," said Costolo during an interview on Bloomberg Television on Wednesday.

Costolo's comments came after he was also asked if he personally felt any pressure hanging onto his title as CEO. Investors had been calling for him to step down as the social media giant struggles to deliver sustainable growth and sales.

"Of course. I mean, look, anyone who tells you as like a CEO of a company with any number of investors, whether it's private or public that says they don't feel any investor -- or pressure, is lying to you. Of course you do," Costolo said.

Costolo made the interview rounds Wednesday on Bloomberg and CNBC as Twitter's stock has fallen more than 25 percent since Monday after the company said Tuesday it had lowered its full-year 2015 financial expectations. While seeing a spike in monthly active users from 288 million to 302 million in the first quarter, Twitter reported sales of $436 million, missing analyst estimates of $457 million. Profit was 7 cents a share, while analysts estimated 5 cents.

The company now projects revenue between $470 million to $485 million.

Costolo has been working the past few months few months to expand the site's appeal beyond the hipsters, geeks and newshounds who comprise much of the microblogging service's user base. He's made it easier for new users to sign on and build followers, added video-sharing capabilities, and reorganized the home page to make it more inviting and easier to search.

The company has also added new tools for advertisers, including promoted tweets and targeted advertising. While Twitter gets nearly all of its revenue from ad sales, CFO Anthony Noto said during the earnings release call Tuesday the company is having trouble getting advertisers who want their app downloaded, or click on their website, to sign up.

And the company's earnings release became unnerving when its figures were leaked out early. Nasdaq acknowledged that Shareholder.com released Twitter's figures prematurely, and the financial data group Selerity, tweeted out the figures.

Twitter's performance hasn't been stellar, Costolo has gotten a pass -- for now -- because he has the backing of the company and the board, Gartner research director Brian Blau said Tuesday.

"You would think with Twitter's wide brand exposure they could translate that into more users and more revenue, but didn't happen this quarter," he said.

When asked Wednesday by Bloomberg if the company lost some credibility over its earnings, Costolo said he doesn't think so. He cited the success of Periscope, an app which lets users stream and edit live video. Twitter said Periscope, which was updated on Wednesday, had 1 million users within its first 10 days after debuting last month.

"You have to have a long-term plan, and stay focused and execute that long-term plan," Costolo said. "We have a strategy and we are sticking to the strategy.

"We like the strategy. Everyone from me, to the board, to my leadership team is all behind it and focused on the same things. And we just have to keep investing in it."