Twitter to leave empty CTO post unfilled

CTO Greg Pass leaves the social networking company, no hunt planned for replacement

Twitter's CTO left the company last week and there's no move afoot to replace him.

The microblogging site's Chief Technology Officer Greg Pass left the position and the company last week. Pass was with Twitter during some key growth years, arriving at the company in 2008 when Twitter bought his company, Summize, a Twitter search engine.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone tweeted about Pass' departure last Friday, writing, "Twitter acquired Summize three years ago, cofounder @gregpass is moving on -- we're lucky to have had him so long!"

In an email to Computerworld today, Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner said, "We aren't looking for a replacement, and Greg doesn't have any plans for what's next." No explanation was given for his departure.

She also said the company is not moving people around in-house to fill the spot. It is simply leaving the company's CTO position empty.

That's an odd move, according to Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with Yankee Group.

"I do think that's odd," he said. "Any tech company's ability to survive long term is based on its ability to continually innovate ... It seems very odd for Twitter to not want to fill that role as fast as possible. Do they think they're in a strong enough position that they don't need it? But I can't actually believe any tech company wouldn't have the required level of healthy paranoia to have a CTO."

Kerravala noted that there might be something else afoot. Twitter may be looking at an acquisition, and much like it did when it bought Summize, it might be planning on filling some spots with new blood.

However, Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said it's possible that Twitter is just going to let its team of engineers lead itself.

"The CTO is a front person, representing the company's technology to the outside world," he added. "One person cannot define all the technology... Key technical work is done in teams. There are leaders and people of superior technical skill, but it's still a team process."

Gottheil also said Twitter probably has the skilled staff it needs.

"I would guess that Twitter has one or more key technical people who do not want to be up front but don't want to be subordinate," he noted. "Well, they have, or will have, someone or more precisely a group of someones, to do those critical [CTO] tasks."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Read more about web 2.0 and web apps in Computerworld's Web 2.0 and Web Apps Topic Center.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CIO roleWeb 2.0 and Web AppsIT LeadershiptwitterInternet SearchIT managementinternetsearch engines

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?