Ben Parr writing in TechCrunch does a great job of explaining exactly what Twitter doesn't need in its next CEO. However it's probably how Twitter's board is trying to fill the job. I have a quote for that from one of the best movies of all time, As Good As It Gets. At the top of the stairs in the climax scene of the movie, Carol the waitress screams in despair: "Why can't I just have a normal boyfriend! A regular boyfriend who doesn't go nuts on me." The camera moves to her mother, in the shadows, who says: "Everybody wants that dear. It doesn't exist."
I might be getting the quotes somewhat off, but that's the spirit.
What Twitter "needs" according to Wall Street they can't have, because it doesn't exist.
What Twitter really needs, is to go back to before the IPO and chart a different course. And to do that they need a CEO with chutzpah, who will tell Wall Street to dump their shares if they want, because the company is not being run for them. They have a vision that goes way out into the future, and fuck you if you think we're going to screw that up for a few quarters of modest stock appreciation. That will just get us back where we are now. There might be a bit of money left on the table in the current model, and a great Wall Street-approved CEO might be able to pick up some of it, but the honeymoon will be over in a year, and you'll be looking for a new CEO again, and coming up with lists of three things the CEO must be. And it won't work then either.
Who said that? That's who they need as a CEO.
Or someone with a loud cackle-y laugh who, when he tells you what he's doing, is totally unbelievable, except his stock is now worth more than Walmart's.
Tech management for high fliers like Twitter is not something you go to Harvard Business School to learn how to do. You don't pick up your bedside manner at an investment banking or PR firm. You run the company the way you see fit, and you tell Wall Street to buy steady investments from blue chips like Ford or General Electric, but companies like Twitter will be volatile and unpredictable, and are equally likely to skid into the gutter as reach the stars. No risk, no reward.
Maybe the problem was that Dick Costolo was too nice a guy without any great ideas about what Twitter could be beyond what it already was. If they want a CEO that the company deserves, they need to pick someone who has really different exciting ideas about the future of media.