Twitter's CEO Costolo steps down, board hunts for new lead

Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo will be stepping down as of 1 July, while co-founder and chairman Jack Dorsey becomes the interim CEO.

In the interim, Twitter’s board of directors has named Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chairman of the Board, to serve as interim CEO while it continues to hunt for its next lead. In a statement by the company, it declared that Costolo will continue to serve on the firm's board of directors, while Dorsey will continue to serve as CEO of Square, Inc. the payments and financial services he started.

Meanwhile, search committee has been formed to lead the search for a new permanent CEO. The board consists of lead independent Director, Peter Currie, and includes Peter Fenton and Evan Williams. It said that it would look internally and externally for candidates.

Dorsey said at during a conference call for the announcement: "One thing I do want to make clear is that this transition is not the result of anything more than Dick deciding to move on from his role as CEO. We have a strong business with solid fundamentals, and our strategy, objectives, and priorities have never been more aligned. There's no connection with our near-term results, as you can see from our reaffirming of our Q2 outlook."

According to Reuters, the company's shares jumped 7.7 % to US$38.60 following the news. The article also had CFO and interim CMO Anthony Noto, stating that Costolo did not receive a severance package because he had voluntarily stepped down.

The social media giant has faced scrutiny for slow growth, and stiff competition in attracting advertisers. eMarketer estimates that Twitter's monthly user base will grow just 14.1% this year, slowing from more than 30% two years ago. By 2019, its user growth rate will be just 6% worldwide, said the researcher.

Twitter accounted for 0.87% of the $145 billion digital advertising worldwide in 2014, according to eMarketer, up from 0.49% in 2013. By comparison, Facebook increased its share of the worldwide digital ad market from 5.81% in 2013 to 7.93% in 2014. Google remained the market leader with 31.42% share in 2014.

Meanwhile, Twitter continues to expand in Asia Pacific, with it newly announcing its office launch and a look to double its staff count. (Read also: LOOK Inside Twitter’s newly launched SG quarters)