Twitter co-founder is glad Jack’s back

October 5, 2015, 8:20 PM UTC
WIRED Business Conference: Think Bigger
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Cofounder of Medium and Twitter Evan Williams speaks at the WIRED Business Conference: Think Bigger at Museum of Jewish Heritage on May 7, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for WIRED)
Photograph by Brad Barket — Getty Images for Wired

Consider this retweet an endorsement.

Ev Williams—Twitter co-founder, former CEO, and current board member—praised the company’s decision to re-hire Jack Dorsey—another Twitter co-founder, former CEO, and current board member—for the role of permanent CEO on Monday. Williams posted a note on the publishing platform Medium, a startup he also founded and currently leads.

“Jack has already demonstrated the ability to inspire the team and think boldly about the next phase of Twitter,” he wrote in the post. “I’m confident this is exactly what Twitter needs at this time.”

Williams was one of three Twitter (TWTR) board members selected to lead the search committee tasked with recommending a candidate to helm the company. It’s not surprising then that he has voiced his approval, though the decision ultimately came down to an 8-person board vote.


While the board initially seemed opposed to Dorsey’s return as chief exec, even issuing a statement over the summer that said they were interested in finding someone who could commit to the job full-time, within months it reversed its decision. Dorsey will now be in charge of two companies: Twitter and Square, a digital payments company he co-founded that is expected to go public soon.

“I’ve probably done more conference calls than in the rest of my life,” Williams wrote of the search process. He said that he had “interviewed a handful of incredibly accomplished and impressive executives” and had “learned a lot about dozens more.”

We looked at many (many, many) other options. We weighed them seriously. We also discussed ad nauseam the challenges of Jack doing both his CEO jobs at once. I honestly didn’t think we’d land on Jack when we started unless he could step away from Square. But ultimately, we decided it was worth it.

Such compliments are, of course, standard fare on the eve of executive coronation. Not to mention, Twitter’s management no doubt hopes to win over Wall Street, which remains skeptical of the service’s ability to innovate and grow its user base (compared to, say, rival social network Facebook (FB)), by standing firmly and publicly behind Dorsey, who may signal to some the promise of a clearer direction, more visionary product, and stronger leadership than his predecessor in the role, Dick Costolo (who will step down from the board).

That said, given Williams and Dorsey’s history, the endorsement comes as interesting development in the pair’s relationship.


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