To begin simply, it seems to me that Evan Williams, the ex-CEO of Twitter, has honestly realized who he is, such as his personal strengths and weaknesses, and has accepted those and decided to play to his strengths and continue on in a way that makes the most sense for the company as well as himself. It is clear that Williams has learned his role over the years: he is an incredibly smart inventor who is able to take a great idea and help to turn it into something truly amazing, yet he doesn’t necessarily have the people skills that are needed in order to successfully run a large company that has witnessed incredible growth trends.
Since Twitter first popped up, the company has experienced continued growth which doesn’t exhibit signs of slowing down. This, coupled with the fact that Williams had been too slow in hiring the right people for the jobs which kept multiplying, led to some great difficulties within the company. Here is this great internet company that began so small but has grown so huge, and yet failure could be in the future due to a lack of proper management. As Williams has openly admitted to the fact that he lacks some management and people skills, he has almost stated that serious problems could arise without some changes occurring.
If an individual is acting as a CEO of a company, they have to have a knowledgeable understanding of the legalities. With Williams, he has had problems in his past related to his lack of managerial skills. An individual in this position could easily face some great challenges and unknowingly bring serious and potentially fatal problems to the company related to legal and ethical issues, especially since he has admitted to lacking such skills. Being wise and skillful in these areas is critical in order for a growing organization to continue to do such.
In order for a successful, growing organization to continue on such a path, strong leadership is always an essential building block. Williams knows he could do better with leadership as a manager, yet he has realized where his true strengths lie and has decided to focus on such concerns – product strategy. Twitter has the potential to continue growing and become similar to Google or Facebook in terms of size, power, prestige, and earnings capability. Yet in order for this to happen, the organization has to have a strong strategy in place and knowingly follow this as it moves forward.
Strategy is invaluable for an organization in this position, where it could either go great or totally flunk depending upon the leadership of the company. Twitter as a company also has to have the ability to gain a competitive advantage over all of the other internet-company sensations. Such a move is impossible without the right people in place in all positions. As Williams has stated, he has moved very slowly in the past in terms of the expanding company: he has been slow to hire the right people for the right jobs, which is essential for the continued success and growth of Twitter.
Twitter has been able to continue financing the company through their use of marketing. The company earns money by having ads in place from other large, national and global organizations which pay Twitter for advertising on their site. When dealing with such large, loud, and powerful companies by hosting their ads, it is imperatively important for Twitter to maintain a professional and appropriate stance with this marketing.
I personally give Williams credit considering that it must have been somewhat of a difficult job announcing that he would be working in product strategy after his time spent as CEO. Yet Williams is the one that has demoted him, which has got to be far different from being demoted from someone else within the company. And he was also able to pick his CEO replacement, Dick Costolo, who Williams believes will be able to carry the company through these times of growth and expansion, into a more mature state of Twitter. How will it Improve the Company?
In order for Twitter to continue moving forward through their incredible growth, I believe the company needed a change in upper management, specifically the CEO. It was smart of Williams to demote himself and appoint Dick Costolo to this position, as Williams didn’t need anyone to tell him that he was in a position where he may not have fit or belonged very well. As he has stated, he is an inventor and that is where he finds his pleasure. With Costolo taking over, Twitter has some potential for survival and advancing strategically in the future.
With Williams focused now on product strategy and Costolo focused on driving the company in the right direction while keeping Twitter’s head above water, I believe the organization will soon flourish even more than was possible before. I’m sure Costolo will aim to maintain and nourish the rich culture that has already been established, thanks to Williams, yet he is capable of going above and beyond since he is equipped with the skills needed to lead a company through changes and growth.