The last 100 or so days — since Dick told the board he was stepping down as Twitter CEO — have been among the most educational of my professional career. I was one of three members of the eight-person board to be named to the CEO search committee. The committee’s job was to work with an outside search firm to find and vet viable candidates for the position and make a recommendation to the rest of the board. (The ultimate decision would come to board vote.)
During that time, I’ve probably done more conference calls than in the rest of my life. I’ve been involved in countless discussions about what the attributes of a great public technology company CEO are — and, specifically, what this company needs at this particular time. I interviewed a handful of incredibly accomplished and impressive executives. And I learned a lot about dozens more.
It was a lot of work, though I certainly did less work than my fellow committee members. I’ve been impressed with the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of all the board members during this challenging, high-stakes, and very public decision-making process.
This all naturally drove a lot of self reflection. One, because my current job is as a technology company CEO. And two, because I used to have that job at the same company I’m now trying to find a new person for.
It’s a cliche to say tech companies need to be founder-led, just because most great ones are. We can’t run an A/B test and see what Twitter would have become had Jack stayed in the role from 2008 or I did from 2010. There are so many ways to screw things up, the odds are against us being as successful as Dick has been. Nor can we know what things would look like had we stayed in the company with Dick leading (Google-style).
Today is a new day. Twitter is bigger and more important to the world than we ever dreamed when we started. And it still has incredible, unrealized potential. It will not be easy to unlock it. But we have thousands of smart, creative people working every day to make the company great. And Jack has already demonstrated the ability to inspire the team and think boldly about the next phase of Twitter. His connection to its roots informs a depth of vision and authenticity of voice, which I’ve been excited to hear.
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.
I’m confident this is exactly what Twitter needs at this time. I can’t wait to see what happens now.