Richard Costolo, the co-founder of Twitter, has chosen to leave the company.
Costolo, who announced his departure in a tweet Wednesday, is the latest CEO to leave the microblogging site, where he served as CEO for four years.
His departure follows those of Jack Dorsey, who is CEO of Square, and Dan Rose, the company’s president and another co-founder. The company currently holds two high-profile positions: co-founder Jack Dorsey is the CEO and president of the company, and Evan Williams, who was CEO for two years after Costolo’s departure, is still on the board.
The loss of Costolo is in many ways expected — he had been a placeholder in the role following the departure of co-founder Ev Williams.
Timeline of Costolo’s tenure shows that he became unpopular with Twitter’s leadership due to his abrasive style and continued lack of innovation while he was CEO.
It was also inevitable that he’d leave Twitter.
Costolo has been noticeably absent from Twitter during the last two years, as Dorsey has been juggling the role of both CEO and Square CEO and also focused his attention on health initiatives and rebuilding the service as an overall communications platform.
According to a report from Recode, an immediate replacement for Costolo hasn’t been named — possibly due to concerns over Dorsey’s dual role as CEO and Square CEO.
Those involved in board decisions will also need to consider the matter of holding a Twitter board meeting this week.
David Pakman, a partner at Venrock who used to run venture capital firm Venrock, tweeted that the company needs to address its product issues. “Since CEO resignation, company has started to address product issues, but cultural issues a priority.”
Anne Marie Slaughter, a fellow at New America and Atlantic Media and author of “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” tweeted that Costolo’s departure was the right decision.
“#APPOINTCostolo is the right decision. Time to focus on building a bigger, more ambitious company,” she wrote on Twitter.
But perhaps the most controversial aspect of Costolo’s departure is what it reveals about the company’s current situation — why and how this was allowed to occur.
New York Times editorial writer Claire Cain Miller pointed out the role of activist investor Dan Loeb in Costolo’s departure. Loeb had been pushing for an overhaul at Twitter after he spent some time trying to secure a seat on the board — a move that, without success, highlighted dissatisfaction within the executive ranks and prompted Costolo to consider leaving.
There is also disagreement about the company’s health — whether it is on track to remain a social platform that brings us together to share information as other platforms, such as Facebook and Snapchat, do.
Costolo’s exit was celebrated by some, including Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams and another co-founder Biz Stone.
Costolo’s day-to-day leadership of the company, after the departure of Williams, would have required a show of support from the board, which struggled with that internal issue over a decade ago.
Now, those with positions inside the company and without, are facing new challenges.