Dorsey’s permanent at Twitter (and still at Square)

Mixed news from Twitter: Jack Dorsey has been named the company’s permanent CEO after three months as interim head, but the company has put a major real estate expansion in San Francisco on hold.
Dorsey was named CEO by the Twitter board on 30 September, after several months of significant acceleration of the company’s product development, which has been amazing slow over the past few years. He’s negotiated the new deal while retaining his role as CEO of Square. Adam Bain, who was considered a likely alternative for CEO, has been named COO, reporting to Dorsey.
Notably, the planned expansion of Twitter’s offices in San Francisco would have been in the building that houses Square, shortening Dorsey’s commute from one office to the other. But clearly the recent turmoil at Twitter — and the impact on its stock price, which fell below the company’s IPO level — has led the company’s leadership to hold back on expansion plans.
Evan Williams, a founder of Twitter along with Dorsey and former CEO, has assumed the chairmanship, a role that Dorsey has vacated. Dick Costolo, the former CEO who resigned earlier this year has left the board, at long last. It was hard to imagine how the company could change product direction with so many former CEOs on the board.
The question remains: can Dorsey revitalize Twitter, and stop its decline? As I wrote this summer, in Costolo to Step down from Twitter Board,

My bet is that Twitter is on the verge of becoming irrelevant in a world passing it by. Absent an acquisition by a major player, Twitter is likely to see the slow departure of core constituencies, and a hastening glide into the dustbin of web history.

One advance that could lead to a real restart at Twitter is the story swirling around that the company is experimenting with a new product that will allow users to post tweets longer than 140 characters. The company recently relaxed that limit for direct messages, making ‘the private side of Twitter even more powerful and fun’. Well, Twitter could break out of its doldrums — and potentially create a product for the enterprise side of things, too, to challenge work chat products like Slack and social collaboration apps like Jive — by simply relaxing the 140 character limit for all tweets.
So I will recast my bet, above:

My bet is that Twitter could become irrelevant in a rapidly changing world. Absent a major product restart — like relaxing the 140 character limit on tweets — Twitter is likely to see the slow departure of core constituencies, and a hastening glide into the dustbin of web history.