Twitter shares up as co-founder Jack Dorsey is mooted as the new CEO
Twitter is to end its three-month search for a new chief executive by appointing co-founder Jack Dorsey in the role, according to reports.
Mr Dorsey is already acting as interim chief executive and chairman, but the micro-blogging site is understood to be planning to name him permanently in the role in a matter of days.
He took over at the helm in July, replacing former stand-up comedian and veteran entrepreneur Dick Costolo - a move which came amid slowing user growth at the group.
San Francisco-based Twitter has more than 300 million users, but lags far behind Facebook's 1.5 billion user base and has struggled to widen its audience.
Mr Dorsey (38) recently admitted the service was not doing well enough when it came to making the site better for users and attracting new interest.
The group removed the 140-character limit on the site's Direct Message feature last month, making it the first aspect of the social media platform free of any word limit, in an attempt to refresh its offering.
There are also mounting concerns over its financial performance, with the group having failed to turn a profit more than nine years after it was founded and recently posting disappointing second-quarter results.
The worries have seen its shares come under pressure, falling by nearly 50% since late April.
But the stock leapt 5% higher overnight on Wall Street after reports first emerged over the plans to name Mr Dorsey as chief executive, in a sign of investor confidence in the group's boss.
Mr Dorsey co-founded Twitter in 2006 and acted as its original chief executive, before being ousted in 2008 by fellow co-founder Evan Williams.
Jack Dorsey sent his first tweet on March 21, 2006.
He remained as chairman and is one of the group's biggest shareholders with a 3% stake worth around $600m (£396.7m).
Mr Costolo replaced Mr Williams as chief executive of Twitter in 2010. The prospect of Mr Dorsey's return to the helm of Twitter has been likened to the almost mythical return of Apple guru Steve Jobs to the computer company he founded.
Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple in 1985 after a power struggle, but returned in 1997 to build it into the world's most valuable company.
Mr Dorsey is also the chief executive of mobile payments company Square - sparking fears of a possible conflict of interest.
Square investor Esther Dyson told Reuters: "The biggest conflict would simply be the allocation of his time. CEO is a full-time job."