Biz Stone returning to Twitter to help troubled startup he co-founded

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Biz Stone, who left Twitter in 2011 after six years, is returning to the company he co-founded in its hour of need. Exactly what role Stone will play is unclear, but he made it sound as if he will serve as some kind of peacemaker at the strife-torn social network.

In a post on the website Medium on Monday (a site he helped create), Stone wrote that he will be "filling the 'Biz-shaped hole'" at Twitter created by his departure. "My top focus will be to guide the company culture, that energy, that feeling," he wrote. 

Word of his return pushed up the price of Twitter shares by 1.7 percent after the announcement, to around $19.50.

Stone, 43, helped form Twitter in 2006, and the messaging platform became wildly popular, most notably these days as the personal megaphone of President Donald Trump. But lately it has run into problems, with user growth sluggish, an exodus of key executives and the stock down by a third since it peaked shortly after its late-2013 initial public offering. Numerous users have complained that the platform is hard to use, and some say they are subject to harassment there. 

Twitter is no stranger to controversy. Last month, it withdrew a lawsuit against the Trump administration after the government ended its attempt to  learn the identity of an anonymous account the criticized the president. 

At Twitter, Stone is expected to be a bridge between two feuding key co-founders, as he has good relations with both -- CEO Jack Dorsey and the company's largest individual shareholder, Ev Williams. Stone (real name Christopher Isaac Stone) recently sold search engine Jelly Industries to image-posting site Pinterest, leaving him more time to engage with Twitter. He has said in the past that he left Twitter to launch other tech companies.

  • Larry Light

    Larry Light is a veteran financial editor and reporter who has worked for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Money, AdviceIQ and Newsday.