Twitter has appointed Jack Dorsey as its permanent chief executive, completing a momentous return for the social network’s founder nine years after he started the company.
Dorsey was confirmed as the San Francisco company’s full-time chief executive three months after taking charge on an interim basis and after Twitter endured a protracted search for a new boss.
It comes despite Dorsey refusing to give up his responsibilities leading Square, a payments start-up he founded in 2009 after being ousted from Twitter.
His return in many ways mirrors that of Steve Jobs, who was forced out of Apple in the 1980s and, with the company he founded struggling, made a historic comeback in 1997 despite still running Pixar.
While Square, whose technology allows retailers to easily accept credit card payments, is reportedly preparing to go public, Twitter is under immense scrutiny as dwindling numbers of people join the social network and it remains lossmaking.
The company’s struggles since it went public in late 2013 led to former chief executive Dick Costolo stepping down in June with Dorsey, who had returned as Twitter chairman in 2011, taking charge as “interim” chief executive.
During its search for a permanent leader, Twitter’s board declared that it would not consider candidates who were unable to commit to the job full-time, a thinly-veiled reference to Mr Dorsey’s responsibilities at Square.
On Monday though, Twitter’s Peter Currie said the board had changed its mind because Mr Dorsey had “surpassed” expectations in recent months.
“We did not start this search with this scenario in mind [but] it became apparent that Jack was not just meeting but surpassing the expectations we had of him as interim CEO while running Square,” he said.
Twitter enjoyed a stunning rise to prominence in the years leading up to its float as hundreds of millions of users signed up to the service, including high-profile celebrities.
However, growth has subsequently slowed, and many people who sign up to Twitter have been put off by the cascade of 140-character messages, or tweets, that are delivered to users in real time.