Newly promoted Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo denied his elevation is the sign the micro-blogging service is preparing for a sale in an interview with The Telegraph.
Twitter co-founder Evan Williams announced Monday he is stepping down as chief executive to focus on product direction with chief operating officer Costolo replacing him. The move led to some speculation Twitter was preparing itself for a sale, which Costolo denied. Prior to joining Twitter, Costolo founded and sold two tech startups including Feedburner, which he sold to Google in 2007.
“No, I am not prepping Twitter for a sale … there really is no distinction between the way Ev [Williams] and I think about the company. We both want Twitter to be a successful independent company," Costolo told the Telegraph. "We’ve both done that selling a start-up thing to big companies like Google, and don’t want to do it with Twitter…[Williams sold Blogger to Google in 2000]. Both Ev and I are Twitter board directors and Ev remains Twitter’s largest shareholder.”
Costolo also denied Facebook and Google have contacted Twitter with buy-out offers since news of his promotion. He said his elevation is not a sign of Williams's weaknesses or that Twitter will be more aggressive about making money.
“We view Twitter as this global real-time information platform. We want this to be a long-living company that has a profound impact on the world … we want Twitter to change the way people communicate," Costolo said.
He also said Twitter will roll out country-specific advertising early next year through promoted tweets and promoted trends. The advertising products are already in place but to date the majority of advertisers have been American brands.