Thursday, June 18, 2015

Twitter CEO Flys Off


The time has come. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has officially announced he will step down. After the announcement, the stock price quickly rallied almost 7%, before finally settling up close to 4%. The euphoria was short lived however, as the stock price is down 3% since the announcement. Investors have been questioning Costolo's leadership at the helm for a few months. Back in April I wrote about Twitter's complete lack of product improvements and pointing fingers at the CEO, I said it might be time Costolo departed the company. Though he will stay on as a board member, this has happened. Investors now are becoming worried this may lead to the company being a "rudderless ship" so to speak. Although many are happy Costolo is gone, the question seems to be "Why now?" Costolo could have remained on board until a replacement was found. Now the race is on to find the next CEO before investor sentiment turns even more sour. It seemed investors all over are not content with the way Twitter was developing even before this announcement, with the likes of large investor and former Google employee Chris Sacca writing a long blog post about changes the company should make.


Costolo making a Presentation.


 Sacca is still a long term believer in the company, whereas I myself and having some doubts. The biggest issue right now seems to be the direction of the company itself. When Mark Zuckerberg was supposedly quoted as saying "They drove a clown car that fell into a gold mine" he may not be far off. Twitter is the place to go for breaking news. TV shows and live sporting events will broadcast hashtags on screen for the audience to tweet about, and news anchors and sports casters display their twitter username on screen to gain followers. It has a massive presence for the now, and yet user growth and revenue has not grown even close to what Facebook was able to achieve. It's time to change that, and I'll be curious to see who replaces Costolo and how they will define what Twitter will be in the future. A new vision and new product improvements must come quickly, or Twitter runs a risk of falling to the wayside.