Twitter’s Costolo announces exit; analysts speculate on takeover
As search for replacement begins, concerns mount over user-growth potential
Twitter's Dick Costolo is to step down as the microblogging business' CEO at the end of the month, online media reported this weekend.
Since its IPO in November 2013, Twitter has struggled to grow its active-user base. That number currently stands at 300m, while rival social platform Facebook has 1.4bn. The two companies' respective shares of the $50.7bn US digital advertising market in 2014 were 1.6% and 10.4%, according to eMarketer.
Analysts and investors are concerned Costolo's exit will do little to claw back lost ground on rivals and some have hinted at a possible takeover for the company, even as the search for a new CEO begins.
"Prospective buyers have been interested in purchasing Twitter in the past, and during the interim search period we believe the opportunity for acquisition is heightened," Reuters quoted Jefferies analysts as writing in a client note.
If offers for Twitter do come, they will likely be around the $30bn, as the company is currently valued at about $23.5bn. Google has been named as a possible suitor.