India-born Padmasree Warrior, former Cisco CTO, may become the Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, the struggling internet company, news reports said last week. A Bloomberg report quoted by Business Insider said Sept. 2 that Twitter’s CEO headhunting firm has reached out to Warrior to head the company which is entering the fourth month of its CEO search after Dick Costolo resigned earlier this year.
While Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has taken the reins as interim CEO, pressure is said to be mounting for the company to appoint permanent leader as executives jump ship, morale suffers, and the company’s stock gets pummeled. The report said that company stock is down more than 20% since the search began.
Twitter’s board was to meet last week to discuss the status of the CEO search, which is being led by recruiting firm Spencer Stuart, Bloomberg said in the report. The reports described Warrior, 54, as somewhat of a surprising candidate for the Twitter CEO job, given that her background is in hardware rather than the advertising-based consumer internet business.
Warrior, who studied at IIT-Delhi and at Cornell University, was Cisco’s CTO and Strategy Officer but Cisco announced in July this year that she was leaving the company amid a reorganization of top deck in which Chuck Robbins took over CEO.
The report did not specify whether Twitter’s outreach to Warrior and CBS Interactive boss Jim Lanzone about running the struggling internet company had resulted in any serious discussions about the CEO job. But the Bloomberg report mentioned that some candidates that Spencer Stuart has contacted had doubts about whether they were serious candidates, given that many believe Dorsey will eventually get tapped for the job.
Twitter has said it is looking at both internal and external candidates for the CEO job. But until now, the focus has primarily been on internal candidates such as revenue chief Adam Bain and Dorsey. Dorsey is also the CEO of digital payments company Square, and Twitter’s board has previously said the permanent CEO will have to make a “full time commitment” to Twitter.