Twitter co-founder Biz Stone returns to the nest

Another Twitter Inc. co-founder is following CEO Jack Dorsey back to the company after an extended absence.

In a May 16 post on Medium Christopher “Biz” Stone did not specify his new role at the social networking icon, which he co-founded alongside Dorsey and former Twitter CEO, present board member, and Medium founder Evan Williams in 2006, but promised that more details would be announced soon.

“My top focus will be to guide the company culture,” he wrote. “This is where Jack, and Twitter’s inestimable CMO, Leslie Berland, feel I can have the most powerful impact. It’s important that everyone understands the whole story of Twitter and each of our roles in that story. I’ll shape the experience internally so it’s also felt outside the company.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (left) and co-founder Biz Stone at Twitter’s first headquarters in 2006. Courtesy Stone, via Medium.

After five years with Twitter, Stone left the company in 2011 for undisclosed reasons, preferring to emphasize that during his time with the company he had seen its workforce and leadership become “incredibly productive.”

“I’ve decided that the most effective use of my time is to get out of the way until I’m called upon to be of some specific use,” he wrote in a now-deleted post, according to the Telegraph.

In between his exit and return, Stone’s most high-profile venture, and likely “the company I most recently founded” that he referred to in his blog post, was Jelly, a search engine designed for queries written in a question-and-answer format that was sold to Pinterest for an undisclosed sum in March, four years after its founding.

While the sale did not require Stone to work at Jelly’s new corporate parent – in the post, he mentioned “the company we sold to” – he was offered a position there, and planned to accept, until an unexpected event at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.

“Twitter decided to relaunch the Friday afternoon tradition of Tea Time,” Stone wrote. “Jack invited me to join him as ‘special guest’ at this restart of an old tradition. When I stood next to Jack addressing the crowd of employees, I felt the energy, and I was overcome with emotion. I realized in that moment that Twitter was the most important work of my life.”

“While we were on stage, Jack asked me to come back to work at Twitter,” he continued. “People cheered. But I wasn’t really sure if he meant it. After Tea Time, we spoke privately and Jack told me that he really did?—?he wanted me to come back and work at Twitter. The company I co-founded, the service I co-invented. I was stunned, but I knew the answer.”

According to the post, Stone expects to return to Twitter full time within two weeks, and though his position has not been specified, he noted that he’s not replacing anyone.

“There’s something about the personality of a company that comes from the folks who start it,” he wrote. “There’s a special feeling they bring with them. Jack coming back was a big step forward. And now, it’s my turn.”

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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