If not an avid fan, I am still a fairly regular Twitter user. I rarely post anything, preferring to spend my time getting all sorts of interesting stuff from people i have followed. And every time i login to the social networking platform, i find myself wondering: This place is almost as good as Facebook. Why have then things come to a point where investors are trying to sell the company off? If a Bloomberg report can be trusted, the answer may be attributed in part, to the internal battles taking place at the company.
According to reports, Twitter appears to be stuck in a state of stasis because the top brass are unable to reach an agreement about the future of the company. While co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey wishes to keep running Twitter as an independent company, co-founder and board member Ev Williams wants to pursue a sale. As such, the company is stuck in between, unable to follow any course of action properly.
To add further confusion to the mix is Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer, Anthony Noto. The executive has apparently gone out of his way to help his company out of its troubles. Not only is he said to be the driving force behind many of the major changes that have been taking place of late, it seems like Dorsey’s management style has become so passive that Noto has been forced to step in and fill his superior’s shoes.
The report also states that it was Noto rather than Dorsey, who was the mastermind behind Twitter’s recent collaboration with the NFL to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games this season. Certain sources also say that Noto is also the hand that is pushing Twitter’s move into live videos — something that is being seen by many as a life saving move by Twitter.
While proactive employees are awesome, Dorsey’s inactivity coupled with Noto’s above expected activity is said to be eroding the former’s authority. After all, Dorsey was brought back as CEO after his ouster, because of his vision – true – but also because the board expected him to act with an authority that is the sole province of CEO and Co-Founder. However, he appears to have delegated a large part of the said authority to his CFO.
All this puts Twitter in a very precarious position — should it go with Co-Founder turned philosopher Jack Dorsey, who wants to keep the company running but doesn’t really seem to be doing much, or should it go with Williams, who is looking to sell the company at the first opportunity. And where do you fit Noto in anyways?
The presence of competitors like Facebook and Snapchat, who have been recording a user growth that is at right angles to Twitter’s own stagnant user base, has prompted advertisers to reconsider putting in money into Twitter. The company really needs a strong figure of authority that is able to take it out of troubled times with a firm hand.
If Bloomberg’s reports are true, Twitter could make some tough calls and make some major executive level changes. A transfer of power may be just what is needed to perk the company up. However, reaching such a decision might be difficult when half the board wants to sell Twitter off and be done with it. The presence of a long line of suitors (that includes names like Google, Salesforce etc.) who just cant wait to get their hands on the company, is enough to further complicate matters.