Twitter and Wall Street react to Dick Costolo’s departure


Dick Costolo - Twitter
Dick Costolo.
Photo: Kevin Moloney/Fortune Brainstorm TECH. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Twitter head Dick Costolo will step down as company CEO, effective July 1. Co-founder Jack Dorsey will replace him while the company finds new leadership.

This is pretty huge news for the microblogging site, but you almost wouldn’t know that from reading Twitter.

Do a search for Costolo’s name, and you’ll pull up a bunch of articles about him leaving. But nobody’s providing much in the way of commentary. On his own account, the news was brief, even by Twitter’s standards:

The replies to that post, which was retweeted over 2,200 times as of this writing, are mostly positive and supportive, and don’t exclusively come from people who used to work with Costolo.

I did say “mostly positive,” though.

Costolo was outspoken about the limitations and challenges facing the company. Specifically, he took full responsibility for the platform’s bullying issues and the slowness in which it dealt with perpetrators.

“We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” the CEO wrote in a forum post in February. “It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.”

The company has responded to the issues of trolling and cyberbullying with new initiatives aimed at making the service safer and adding functionality, including letting users share lists of people they’ve blocked and dropping the 140-character limit from private messages between users.

But Twitter has had business-related issues, too. A (huge) blog post by investor Chris Sacca offers a comprehensive analysis as what is and isn’t working for the site. Among his criticisms are that “Almost one billion users have tried Twitter and not stuck around” and “Wall Street’s confidence in the management team has diminished.”

Seemingly speaking to that second point, company stock shot up almost 10 percent in after-hours trading with the news, and is currently sitting about four percent higher than it did at market close. Wall Street is definitely noticing this shake-up and reacting accordingly.

Despite all of this, the news at Twitter remains of interest mainly to insiders, and Costolo’s name isn’t even trending on the site.

Dick Costolo Twitter
Unless you’re in Italy.
Screencap: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Who’s more popular than Costolo pretty much everywhere else on Twitter? Legendary pro wrestler Dusty Rhodes and actor Christopher Lee, both of whom died this week. A “ThankYouDickC” hashtag has emerged over the past few hours, however, so it’s nice to know that Twitter is at least bidding the man farewell and good wishes in its own language.


I mean, it can’t all be good. It’s the Internet, after all.