Commentary

Dorsey As Twitter's CEO Will Bring Appearance Of Stability

Reports of Twitter’s interim (and former) CEO Jack Dorsey being tapped for a permanent spot at the top have been circulating for the past day or so. In addition to being a co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, Dorsey is also the CEO of mobile payment company Square. Running two companies has some comparing him to Steve Jobs, who famously ran Apple and Pixar at the same time. Dorsey has reportedly played up those comparisons, starting to quote Gandhi and the Beatles and adopting a uniform, among other image changes.

Investors, consumers and employees have all been craving a sense of stability from the microblogging service since Dick Costolo stepped down four months ago. A “real” CEO will go a long way towards quelling some of their fears.

Dorsey's greatest challenge in the CEO role will be twofold: to take Twitter beyond the domain of journalists and Internet-natives to the mainstream, and to actually start generating consistent revenue.

Fortunately for Twitter, most of its current revenue is unaffected by the new wave of ad-blockers flooding the market.

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But its hope for future revenue rests in e-commerce. The company released a buy button feature in an effort to tap into ecommerce earlier this year, with promises of more to come -- which presents a conflict of interest for Dorsey, as head of Square.

Twitter has increased its payments and e-commerce options since Dorsey took the helm as acting Twitter chief on July 1. Some analysts have suggested Twitter and Square could merge in the future, if/when ecommerce becomes indispensable to Twitter’s revenue stream.

Regardless of his leadership capabilities, Twitter is in for a shakeup on both a product and management level with Dorsey at the helm.

Last week, Citi Research analysts revised their advertising revenue estimates for Twitter and downgraded the stock to high risk. Twitter shares closed Friday at $25.29, below the I.P.O. price of $26. However, yesterday’s reports of Dorsey being hired on a more permanent basis brought a 4% bump to the stock price.

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