New CEO Jack Dorsey Is Here to Clean Up the Mess That Is Twitter

Expect some pretty big changes under Dorsey’s leadership.

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Oct 5 2015, 12:02pm

Image: Kimberly White/Getty Images

Twitter has officially announced that Jack Dorsey is its new permanent CEO. Dorsey, who co-founded the microblogging service in 2006, had been interim CEO since June, after former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down following a string of poor results.

Dorsey is also the CEO of Square, the mobile payments company that's expected to go public in the coming weeks. While the arrangement is unusual, it's not unprecedented in Silicon Valley: Steve Jobs famously ran both Apple and Pixar simultaneously through the mid-2000s, while Elon Musk, everyone's favorite mad scientist, is currently at the helm of both Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

"This is a real exciting day for me," Dorsey said on an investor call after the announcement was made. "My commitment to Twitter runs incredibly deep... We are nowhere near done or satisfied" at the company.

We can expect some pretty fundamental changes to Twitter with Dorsey fully in charge, with the new CEO saying on the investor call that he wants to make Twitter (which he said "makes people do a lot of work to realize the full value") easier for the average person to use. Dorsey also said at an earnings call this past summer that he wanted the company's product team—the folks in charge of the look, feel, and functionality of Twitter's range of apps—to step up their game to combat slowing growth. Another hint that major changes may be on the way? A report last week from Re/code suggesting that Dorsey is totally cool with the idea of removing the 140-character limit from tweets.

It was also under Dorsey's watch as interim CEO that Twitter changed character limit for Direct Messages from 140 characters to 10,000 characters.

Whatever Dorsey does, Twitter should probably act quickly. The company has been lapped in terms of users by Instagram (400 million active users per month vs. 316 million), and doesn't have anything that particularly screams "future!" like Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Oculus VR.

Adam Bain, who was president of Global Revenue and Partnerships, was also named Twitter COO to help Dorsey "load balance" his responsibilites at Twitter and Square.