Second coming: Twitter creator returns (again)

Jack Dorsey announces he's leading product development for microblogging service

Ousted from his position as chief executive more than two years ago, Twitter creator and co-founder Jack Dorsey on Monday announced his full-time return to the company, where he apparently will lead product development. (Also see: Crazy talk? Latest Twitter valuation jumps to $7.7 billion) Dorsey tweeted: Today I'm thrilled to get back to work at @Twitter leading product as Executive Chairman. And yes: leading @Square forevermore as CEO. #200% He left off #WINNING. Someone needs to tell Dorsey that things have changed on Twitter since he was gone. But that's the funny thing about it: Dorsey wasn't totally out of the picture. Sure, he stepped down as CEO back in October 2008, with Twitter co-founder Ev Williams taking over as chief executive. (Williams himself was replaced as CEO by Dick Costolo five months ago.) Still, he retained a seat on the Twitter board even as he was starting mobile device payment platform Square, Inc. Also, last November, Business Insider reported that Dorsey was "back working at the company on a once-a-week-or-so basis" in a bid to "fix" Twitter's product. Wait a minute. If Dorsey's part-time efforts to "fix" Twitter weren't enough, doesn't that mean Twitter -- one of the hottest social networking start-ups and a potential IPO candidate -- has some major problems? certainly implied as much last Friday, writing that "Twitter's transition from 'cultural force' to 'actual moneymaking business' isn't going smoothly. A management shift is in the works, with one of the site's creators ramping up his involvement and another quietly stepping away." According to the article, co-founder Ev Williams, who was leading product development for Twitter, has been rarely seen in the office lately. As for Dorsey, quotes a source, "Jack is back and involved in a very powerful way." Twitter began generating advertising revenue last April and is expected to hit sales of $150 million this year and $250 million in 2012. You have to wonder if the full-time return of Dorsey means the company is struggling to generate revenue growth befitting a company with a reported valuation of nearly $8 billion.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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