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Shira Ovide

Twitter Needs a Full-Time CEO

The company has some sticky problems that require someone's undivided attention.

It's now conventional wisdom that Twitter Inc. is badly in need of repair. Yet the company on Thursday turned in a not-bad earnings report card for the third quarter, with revenue that topped its own forecast and an announcement of layoffs with a goal of turning a profit next year. A turbulent stock price rose about 4 percent in premarket trading. 

But the conventional wisdom remains correct. Few new people are using Twitter. Once-healthy advertising sales have nearly come to a halt, with a 6 percent increase in the third quarter compared with a 60 percent jump at the same point in 2015. And the company said a planned restructuring of its ad sales organization makes it impossible to predict fourth-quarter revenue. Oh, and potential buyers all ran off.