Thu, May 18, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Cofounder’s return plans boost Twitter share price

PERSONALITY:Biz Stone, who was asked to return to the social media company by CEO Jack Dorsey, said he expected his role to focus on guiding company culture

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Twitter Inc shares on Tuesday gained on word that cofounder Biz Stone was returning to the social network after six years away.

Stone said in an online post that he would be back at work full time at the San Francisco-based operation in “a couple of weeks,” prompting shares to end the New York Stock Exchange trading day up 1.35 percent at US$19.49.

“Excited to have Biz’s energy and heart back at Twitter,” Twitter cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey said from his @Jack account with the hashtag #BizIsBack.

Stone left Twitter in mid-2011 during executive shake-ups and joined cofounder Evan Williams in forming a start-up called Medium.

Stone said in his post that he sold his most recent enterprise and was recently visiting Twitter’s headquarters when, at an employee gathering, Dorsey asked him to return.

“There’s something about the personality of a company that comes from the folks who start it,” Stone said. “Jack coming back was a big step forward. And now, it’s my turn.”

Stone expected his focus to be on guiding company culture.

“You might even say the job description includes being Biz Stone,” he said.

Twitter last month reported first-quarter results that were better than most forecasts, but continues to struggle for momentum in revenue and use.

The closely watched metric of monthly active users grew 9 percent from the same period a year ago to 328 million.

Twitter said that daily active usage rose 14 percent without offering a specific figure.

Net loss narrowed to US$62 million, from US$80 million a year earlier. Twitter has never reported a profit.

Twitter has been seeking to broaden its appeal beyond its core user base of celebrities, politicians and journalists, ramping up efforts in video and live sports.

However, the company has failed to live up to early expectations, while Facebook Inc and other social networks have been growing at a faster pace.

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