clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

New CEO, New Chairman and Big Layoffs. So What's Next for Twitter?

It has been a busy couple of weeks for the San Francisco social communications company.

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

No company in Silicon Valley has been more in the news over the past few months, especially in the last two weeks, than Twitter.

It announced co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey as its permanent CEO. It appointed a new executive chairman — longtime Googler Omid Kordestani. It laid off 8 percent of its workforce.

And, oh yes, its newly appointed CEO filed an IPO with another company — Square — as its CEO, too.

That’s a lot of headlines, so one might think things are about to quiet down at Twitter. But if the San Francisco social communications company has taught us anything, it’s that things probably won’t quiet down anytime soon.

So what might be coming next? Here are a few things to watch out for:

A Renaissance With Wall Street

Twitter reports earnings on October 27, and a lot has happened since the last time Wall Street got a close look at the company’s financials. The much-beleaguered stock got some relief when Twitter announced company-wide layoffs this week, while also adding in the same announcement that its Q3 financials would do slightly better than it had expected. What’s unclear, though, is whether or not Dorsey will be able to win over investors and reassure them that plans for the IPO at his other company won’t dramatically impact his ability to lead Twitter. Which leads us to …

Jack Time

Does Dorsey actually sleep? In a 32-hour window earlier this week, he laid off 300-plus people at Twitter, appointed Twitter’s new executive chairman and then filed documentation to take Square public. It’s hard to imagine he’ll have many more weeks like that on his calendar, but it’s clear that running two companies is a very time-consuming thing. Dorsey’s colleagues believe he can do it — and so far he seems to be making it work. But as with all companies, there will be challenges, and if that happens with both companies at the same time, we’ll see which one is not getting enough “Jack time.”

More Board Movement

When Dorsey was announced as full-time CEO last week, former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down from the board. Soon after, Twitter named Kordestani as executive chairman. But that’s not likely the end of Twitter’s board changes.

David Rosenblatt, for example, is a former DoubleClick and Google ad executive, and Kordestani is also an expert in that area as he was the original head of the search giant’s massive sales engine. It raises the question of whether Twitter needs two former Google business execs on its board, except that Rosenblatt was just re-elected for another three-year term earlier this summer.

And what of the three Peters: Benchmark VC Fenton; investor Currie, who led Twitter’s CEO search this summer; and Chernin, CEO of the Chernin Group? All are possible departures, according to sources, for a variety of reasons.

Then there’s the lone female director, MacArthur Foundation chairperson and former CEO of Pearson Marjorie Scardino, who is newest and seems safe unless Dorsey has other plans.

Lastly, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams will be the most likely to stay on, despite his up-and-down relationship with Dorsey over the years. While many speculated that Williams might get a chairman role in the new set-up, this has not come to pass and, thus, it will be interesting to see what role and how much influence Williams will have moving forward.

One thing is clear: Twitter is likely to have a substantially different board six months from now.

More Internal Shuffling

Twitter laid off 336 people because, as Dorsey said Tuesday, “we feel strongly that engineering [and other departments] will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team.”

Now that those cuts have been made, expect Twitter to keep tweaking all its reporting structures internally. It’s now in the midst of an engineering reorganization, after already restructuring the leadership roles on its product team earlier this fall. It seems inevitable that other mid- and upper-level managers — those who weren’t part of the initial cuts — may still find that their roles have changed significantly. For example: Will the cuts in engineering prompt Twitter’s commerce and media teams to change their goals going forward, and will that also mean similar changes in leadership and focus?

We’ll see soon, of course. Twitter doesn’t stay out of the news for long.

[Update: Not long at all, it seems! Voluble former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is now a big investor in the company. This should be good.]

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.