The inevitable is finally happening: Twitter is going to announce that Jack Dorsey will once again become permanent CEO of the company, according to a Recode report. The announcement could come as early as Thursday, and will likely coincide with some changes to the company’s board.
A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.
Dorsey has been leading Twitter as interim CEO ever since former CEO Dick Costolo left the company at the end of June. The search was complicated by the fact that Dorsey is also CEO of the payment processing startup Square, which recently filed for an IPO. Twitter’s board made it clear early on that they wouldn’t allow for a split CEO role, but leading Twitter investors have since voiced support for Dorsey filling both roles.
Dorsey himself has been acting all along as if he was in it for the long haul. Not only did he start to restructure the company’s product team, he also pushed for bold new product initiatives, including one that may bring long-form publishing to Twitter, which has thus far been restricted to 140-character updates.
Twitter’s search committee had been looking at both internal and external candidates for the job. Some of the names that surfaced in recent weeks included CBS Interactive CEO Jim Lanzone as well as GE CMO and former NBC exec Beth Comstock. Internally, Twitter was also looking at the company’s business chief Adam Bain, but Bain refused to take the job if Dorsey was interested, according to Recode. One of the open questions will be if and in which capacity Bain will now stay at the company.
One of Dorsey’s most important jobs will be to restore investor confidence in the company, which has seen its stock price halved since a disappointing earnings release in April. Investors have been most concerned about Twitter’s stalling growth; Twitter’s number of monthly active users in the U.S. has been flat over the last two quarters, and it has seen little growth abroad to make up for this.
Dorsey said during the company’s Q2 earnings call that he wants to turn the tide by both looking to make Twitter more appealing to new users, and amping up the marketing for the service. Twitter is expected to introduce a new product experience code-named “Project Lightning” in the coming weeks that adds editorial curation around major news and cultural events to the service. In addition, the company is planning a major marketing push to bring back growth.
This isn’t the first time Dorsey is leading Twitter. He also served as the company’s CEO when it was first spun out of the podcasting startup Odeo in 2006, and was deeply involved in the development of Twitter’s first features and launch in the same year. However, Dorsey replaced by co-founder Evan “Ev” Williams in 2008, and didn’t have any day-to-day involvement in the company until his return on 2011, when Dick Costolo replaced Williams and Dorsey returned as executive chairman.