Fortune spoke with then COO Costolo earlier this year to find out about the tech veteran's plans for monetizing Twitter. Describing the company as at a "juncture," it's now his job as CEO to navigate the company Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams founded, through it.
According to a company blog post, current COO Dick Costolo will replace Evan Williams as Twitter CEO. Williams, who stepped in for creator Jack Dorsey in October of 2008 for unspecified reasons, announced in a 133-character Tweet that he will focus on product strategy moving forward, though his new official title remains unknown.
The move comes at a crucial time for Twitter, as the social network experiments with different revenue streams in an effort to capitalize on its success -- it now claims more than 75 million users. The revenue plays have included Promoted Tweets, 140-character Tweets from companies that on first appearance look like any other; Promoted Trends; the aborted @earlybird sales feed; and more recently, Promoted Accounts. That last program, which expands upon Promoted Tweets, rolled out in April, and lets companies essentially pay to be included in those highly-coveted "Who to Follow" suggestion lists which Twitter uses to help new users seed their accounts with interesting content.
Costolo, 46, is a former Google (GOOG) executive and Feedburner CEO who was tapped by Twitter in September of 2009 to head up the social media giant's monetization efforts. We spoke with him earlier this year for Fortune's 50 Smartest People in Tech. While he said this year would be chock-full of ad experimentation, he also admitted it was an important period for the company as pundits have questioned whether Twitter is a business that can actually profit. More
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