Twitter’s lame-duck CEO Dick Costolo says he is leaving the company stocked with new features that will boost revenue and help make the short-messaging service useful to more people.
“We have things rolling out this fall that I am over the moon about and can’t wait for people to see,” Costolo said on Tuesday during an appearance at a Bloomberg technology conference.
Twitter will have a different leader by the time those products appear because Costolo is ending his nearly five-year reign as CEO on July 1 as part of a shake-up announced last week. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is stepping in as interim CEO while the San Francisco company’s board searches for a permanent replacement.
Without providing further details, Costolo said the upcoming features will create engaging experiences that appeal to broad audiences. He also indicated the new features will generate more advertising.
If Costolo’s predictions pan out, it would address some of the problems that have caused many investors to sour on Twitter and contributed to the company’s change in command. Twitter’s stock has fallen by more than 30 percent since the late April release of a disappointing first-quarter earnings report.
Although Twitter has more than 300 million users, the service’s growth has slowed in recent years largely because its system of showing bursts of often disjointed information has proven too confusing and tedious to many people coming back after they open accounts. The company also has an uninterrupted history of losses since Dorsey sent out the service’s first tweet in March 2006.
Dorsey, who served as Twitter’s CEO in its early years before being ousted in 2008, is believed to be interested in taking on the job again permanently.
Costolo, who will remain on Twitter’s board, praised Dorsey for his “clarity of thinking” about the short-messaging service while stressing that the company intends to interview other candidates.
Costolo said the decision to search for a new CEO prompted Twitter’s board to decide after a three-hour meeting that he should step aside next month to avoid distractions and speculation. If he had remained CEO while the board looked for his successor, Costolo said he would have been “walking around with a timer on his head. We just thought that was going to be ridiculous.”
Twitter’s next CEO will have the leeway to make changes, but “we like the strategy that is in place,” Costolo said. The endorsement of Twitter’s current plans echoed comments that both Costolo and Dorsey made last week after the company revealed the CEO switch.
Investors evidently would like to the company to pursue a different direction. Twitter’s shares gained 15 cents to $34.82 on Monday, slightly below their price before Costolo’s departure was announced.