Jack Dorsey is back at Twitter in a big way. He just tweeted that he is now taking on the lead product role at Twitter, the company he co-founded and where he’s remained as chairman. To reflect his new operating role, his title will now be executive chairman. Dorsey will remain CEO of Square.
News that Dorsey was negotiating with Twitter for an expanded role came out last week. There was some speculation that he might even take the CEO spot, but it is very difficult to be the CEO of two technology companies at the same time and Dorsey is “200%” committed to Square. All you have to do is watch this video to see how much he cares about building great products. And now he will be doing that at both Twitter and Square, while leaving the business side of Twitter to CEO Dick Costolo.
Dorsey stepped down from the CEO spot at Twitter in 2008, when he was replaced by Evan Williams. Williams subsequently handed over the CEO title to Dick Costolo, ostensibly so that he could focus on the product. But Williams supposedly hasn’t been around that much. When Williams stepped down, that opened the door for Dorsey to expand his role (there was some bad blood between the two), which is what’s happening now.
Twitter is now five years old. Dorsey recently put out some nostalgic Tweets about how the product got started. Today, Twitter is a different beast with more than 200 million users and an array of products (Web, mobile, tablets) that must be best-of-breed. Twitter began much more simply by providing the underlying service and encouraging other developers to build clients and features. The relationship with outside developers is now strained. Will Dorsey work to repair and reinvigorate those ties or focus more on making Twitter’s own products the only ones people need?