Twitter Founder Steps Down as CEO

Mike Halsey MVP
Oct 5, 2010
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Internet, Twitter

Evan Williams, the co-founder of social networking site Twitter is to stand down as Chief Executive Officer of the company to move into a role that will allow him to help make Twitter more profitable, according to a report by the BBC.

Announcing the news, understandably in a Tweet, he said Twitter had to "meet its potential as a profitable company".  He will be replaced by current Chief Operating Officer Dick Costolo.

Twitter, which was founded only four years ago now has 160 million users compared to only three million in 2008.  Mr Williams said though that "Growing big is not success in itself."

"Success to us means meeting our potential as a profitable company that can retain its culture and user focus while having a positive impact on the world. This is no small task.  This is why I have decided to ask our COO, Dick Costolo, to become Twitter's CEO. Starting today, I'll be completely focused on product strategy."

Mr Williams took over as CEO from Twitter's other co-founder, Jack Dorsey, in 2007 when Dorsey became the company's chairman.

This is a sign that Twitter knows that recently they've just been treading water in social networking and that they need to raise their game in order to maintain their status and popularity.  It will inevitably mean a move to a more advertising-oriented business model, though how Twitter's users will take to this remains to be seen.  There are also questions over the how advertising would best work on Twitter when a great many users only access the service through third-party software or a smart phone.

Will this mean that in a couple of years we're all bombarded by Twitter Spam.  While this is unlikely, it's clear that the future of Twitter will be very different from the service we all use today.


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  1. Juliane said on October 6, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    When I read that Evan Wiliams is no longer CEO I was quite shocked. As the Co-Founder I thought he’d stay in office quite a while. But I hope he will find a responsibility he likes better.

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