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

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

Join the PC World 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

Cool Tech

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >


Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?