San Francisco: Twitter is embracing Jack Dorsey as its CEO in hopes that its once-spurned co-founder can hatch a plan to expand the short messaging service's audience and end nearly a decade of financial losses.
The hiring revealed today in a regulatory filing ends Twitter's three-month search for a new leader. It marks Dorsey's second stint as CEO since he helped start the San Francisco company more than nine years ago with Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass.
Twitter dumped Dorsey his first time around, but its board of directors now appears convinced he has the maturity to fix the problems that has caused the company's stock to lose nearly half its value in the past five months.
Dorsey, 38, has already had dress rehearsal for the job, having become Twitter's interim CEO in July after former stand-up comedian and veteran entrepreneur Dick Costolo stepped down amid shareholder discontent.
Twitter is believed to have considered its chief revenue officer, Adam Bain, and several other CEO candidates before settling on Dorsey. Bain, 42, was named chief operating officer concurrent with CEO announcement.
Dorsey will no longer be Twitter's chairman, but he will continue as CEO of Square Inc, a company he co-founded in 2009, as he prepares that for its initial public offering of stock.
In doing so, Twitter's board recanted on a pledge issued in late June when it vowed to pick a CEO who would be able to make a "full-time commitment" to the company.
As CEO of two companies simultaneously, Dorsey can draw more parallels to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs -- a comparison that Dorsey has never discouraged.
After being ousted from Apple in the mid-1980s, Jobs came back as the company's interim CEO in 1997 and then stayed on oversee the creation of the iPod, iPhone and iPad.
While running Apple, Jobs also was CEO of computer animation pioneer Pixar until the company was sold to Disney in 2006.
The headquarters of Twitter and Square are within a block of each other, possibly making it easier for Dorsey to split his duties at the two companies.
RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said the decision is a step in the right direction for Twitter.
"We believe Dorsey has the requisite vision and organisational clout to address some of Twitter's major challenges (ie, user acquisition, pace of platform improvement, long-term monetisation prospects," Sebastian wrote.
Dorsey's biggest challenge at Twitter will be finding a way to make the site easier to navigate and broaden its appeal beyond media junkies, athletes, celebrities and politicians.