London: Dick Costolo, the outgoing chief executive of Twitter, has warned that the next boss will have to manage an increasingly complex set of geopolitical challenges as well as the demands of Wall Street.
The 51-year-old confessed during a farewell interview published on his last day on the job that he underestimated the pressures that going public would place on the company, the Guardian reported.
Costolo, who is ending a five-year stint as Twitter CEO, said the pressures of meeting Wall Street expectations on a quarterly basis meant the company had to battle against a current of incrementalism and short-term thinking.
Costolo said the job of Twitter CEO had come to involve resolving complex geopolitical issues, citing for example Iran, where authorities use the site to communicate while blocking citizens' access.
He noted that the challenge is they can't be excessively parochial and have an American perspective on the way things should be, adding that they have to abide by the rule of law in the countries in which they operate, while pushing to make sure that these voices can be heard despite whoever is in power at the time.
He said regulation, particularly in Europe, was not an answer to the challenge, adding that he thinks regulation is a threat to free speech. He can't think of an example where regulation didn't have unintended consequences and he is unable to conceive of a regulatory body that will be swift enough to deal with the constantly evolving issues of ethics, communication and technology.
Costolo's successor has yet to be named, the company will be led on an interim basis by co-founder Jack Dorsey. Whoever takes on the job would have to contend with a far broader set of complex challenges, Costolo said.
He noted that when he took on the role of CEO he thought of himself as a technologist, but he has had to become more and more concerned with the geopolitical landscape, as have all my counterparts in tech.