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First it was the single line that suggested Tumblr’s board was considering getting rid of founder David Karp before the Yahoo! acquisition — now it’s the firing and rehiring of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. Yep, Nick Bilton’s book on the founding of Twitter is revealing some interesting insights into the behind-the-scenes conversations regarding the social network site in the run up to its IPO.
The latest snippet from Bilton’s book ‘Hatching Twitter: a true story of money, power, friendship, and betrayal’ reveals that Costolo was (very briefly) fired, just weeks before he became the social network site’s CEO. In the as yet unpublished work, the New York Times columnist says that the then-COO was fired by board advisor Bill Campbell after a meeting with co-founders Evan Williams (then CEO) and Jack Dorsey (silent chairman at the time).
According to USA Today, some questions had been raised about Williams’ leadership, and Dorsey was attempting to remove him from his position as CEO. The report continues:
At a tense Twitter board meeting in September 2010, Bill Campbell, who had been brought in as an adviser, slapped his hand on the table and said that it was Costolo who was to be fired, according to the book.
One board member suggested they talk about it more, but Campbell reminded everyone that they were running a start up, then went downstairs and fired Costolo to his face, the book says.
Costolo asked Campbell whether he was joking. Campbell told Costolo to contact Twitter’s lawyers to arrange severance, then left the room.
Apparently, the decision was quickly reversed, and Costolo went on to become Twitter’s CEO a month later, a position he still holds. Williams went on to focus on publishing startup Medium, and still stands to make millions when Twitter goes public as he owns 12% of the company.