Dick Costolo

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Dick Costolo
Dick Costolo.jpg
D. Costolo, 2010
Richard William Costolo

(1963-09-10) September 10, 1963 (age 59)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan (BS)
OccupationCEO of Twitter until July 1, 2015

Richard William Costolo (pronounced: /ˈkɒstəl/) (born September 10, 1963) is an American businessman. He was the CEO of Twitter, Inc. from 2010 to 2015; he also served as the COO before becoming CEO. He took over as CEO from Evan Williams in October 2010. On June 11, 2015, it was announced that Costolo would step down as CEO on July 1, 2015, and would be replaced by Twitter co-founder and chairman Jack Dorsey on an interim basis until the Board of Directors could find a replacement.[2] On August 8, 2015, The New York Times reported that Costolo would be leaving Twitter's Board of Directors by the end of the year or when a new CEO was appointed.[3]


Costolo was born in Royal Oak, Michigan. In 1985, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer and communication sciences from the University of Michigan.[citation needed] Upon graduation, he decided not to accept offers from technology companies and instead moved to Chicago to work in improvisational comedy.[4]

After his improv career in Chicago, Costolo was at Andersen Consulting for eight years, where he was a senior manager in product and technology groups. He then co-founded Burning Door Networked Media, a web design and development consulting company, which was acquired by Digital Knowledge Assets in October 1996. He then co-founded SpyOnIt, a web page monitoring service, which was sold to 724 Solutions in September 2000.

In 2004, Costolo, along with Eric Lunt, Steve Olechowski, and Matt Shobe, founded the web feed management provider FeedBurner. After Google bought FeedBurner in 2007, Dick Costolo became an employee of the search giant.[2] After the acquisition, Costolo began working in other areas of Google. In July 2009, he left Google, and in September 2009 it was announced that he was joining Twitter as its COO.[5] Although his 2010 takeover as CEO was supposed to be temporary, while CEO Evan Williams was on paternity leave, it eventually became a permanent position.[4] In 2011, he would notably proclaim about Twitter, “We're the free speech wing of the free speech party.”[6]

In May 2011, it was announced that President Obama had appointed Costolo to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, along with the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group, Scott Charney, and McAfee President of Security David DeWalt.[7]

In January 2012, he was embroiled in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) controversy after commenting on Wikipedia's planned blackout.[8] He stated, "That's just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish."[9]

In 2013, Business Insider referred to him as "one of Silicon Valley's most impressive CEOs",[10] and Time magazine named him one of the 10 Most Influential U.S. Tech CEOs.[11] Costolo gave the 2013 spring commencement address to the University of Michigan graduating class on May 4, 2013.[12]

In 2015, an internal Twitter memo by Costolo was leaked in which he said he was "frankly ashamed" at how poorly Twitter handled trolling and abuse, saying, "We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years", and admitted Twitter had lost users as a result.[13]

In October 2015, Costolo was announced as a consultant for the HBO TV series Silicon Valley.[14] He was featured in two episodes of the series, episode 8 season 3 and the finale season 6.

In December 2015, Costolo announced that he joined the board of directors for Patreon, a startup that helps artists raise money for their creative projects.[15]

In January 2016, Costolo announced that he will launch a fitness startup along with Bryan Oki, CEO of Fitify.[16] The two co-founders are "building a software platform that reimagines the path to personal fitness."[17][needs update]

In February 2016, Costolo joined Index Ventures as a partner.[18]


In October 2020, some of Costolo's tweets faced controversy. In a thread he posted criticizing Coinbase, a cryptocurrency company, and their CEO Brian Armstrong for refusing to participate in certain social and political movements such as Black Lives Matter, Costolo tweeted:[19]

Me-first capitalists who think you can separate society from business are going to be the first people lined up against the wall and shot in the revolution. I'll happily provide video commentary.

— Dick Costolo


  1. ^ "2013 Twitter's Dick Costolo, and what you may not know about him". Mercury News. 16 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b MG Siegler (2010-10-04). "Dick Costolo Takes Twitter CEO Role So Evan Williams Can Focus On Product". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  3. ^ Issac, Mike (2015-08-08). "Dick Costolo Is Said to Plan Departure From Twitter's Board". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-08-09.
  4. ^ a b Guynn, Jessica (2011-02-06). "Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is determined to get the last laugh". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Newspapers. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
  5. ^ Michael Arrington (2009-09-02). "Oh, RSS Is Definitely Dead Now: Feedburner CEO Dick Costolo To Become Twitter COO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  6. ^ Efrati, Amir (18 October 2011). "Twitter CEO Costolo on Apple, Privacy, Free Speech and Google; Far From IPO". Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ "Obama chooses Twitter CEO for NSTAC advisory group - Macgasm". www.macgasm.net. 29 May 2011.
  8. ^ "English Wikipedia anti-SOPA blackout - Wikimedia Foundation". Archived from the original on 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
  9. ^ Rushe, Dominic (2012-01-16). "Twitter boss slams Wikipedia's 'silly' Sopa protest". The Guardian. London.
  10. ^ "4 Of Silicon Valley's Most Impressive CEOs Just Ate Dinner Together". Business Insider.
  11. ^ "Time Tech 40: The Most Influential Minds In Tech". Time. 2013-05-01.
  12. ^ UM News Service (4 May 2013). "Dick Costolo at 2013 spring commencement" – via YouTube.
  13. ^ Tiku, Nitasha (4 February 2015). "Twitter CEO: 'We suck at dealing with abuse'". The Verge. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Next Starring Role for Dick Costolo: Telling 'Silicon Valley' About Silicon Valley". Re-code. 6 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Joined the Board of Artsy Startup Patreon". Re/code. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  16. ^ "Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is launching a fitness startup". The Verge. 19 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is launching a new fitness software startup". Business Insider.
  18. ^ "Twitter Ex-CEO Dick Costolo Talks Joining Index Ventures As It Announces $1.25 Billion In New Funds". Forbes.
  19. ^ Brown, Abram. "Some Business Leaders Should Face A Firing Squad, Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Suggests In Angry Tweet". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-11-21.

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by Twitter CEO
Succeeded by