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Twitter Plays CEO Musical Chairs

Twitter’s leadership is once again in a state of flux, further illustrating how difficult it can be for social media corporations to effectively monetize—to Wall Street’s satisfaction—once they go public. Founded in 2006, Twitter is now searching for their fourth CEO after Dick Costolo announced he was stepping down last week.

One big question: does anyone even want this job?

Twitter has been highly scrutinized since their IPO, as share value has diminished and user enthusiasm has plateaued. Essentially, the social media mainstay is forced to walk the tightrope of “staying true to their platform” and introducing new—and profitable—features designed to motivate their user base and please their shareholders.

It’s not an enviable position. It’s the Crystal Pepsi of the tech industry.

Costolo, widely-regarded as one of Silicon Valley’s most impressive executives, never really had a chance. Once the company went public and ownership passed to shareholders, expectations were stratospheric. When growth did not match the rate and scale of direct competitor Facebook, the writing was on the wall. It’s a prime example of how cutthroat the boardroom of a publicly traded company can be. You’re beholden to your users—but mainly the board of directors.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey will take the reins as interim CEO while an internal and external search takes place to find a “permanent” replacement. With the rapid turnover at Twitter, however, the lucky selection needs to realize that the big chair they’re assuming is already a hot seat.

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