SAN FRANCISCO — The job requirements for the next chief executive of Twitter are forbidding. The board of directors of the social media company is looking for a savvy business strategist and product genius with experience running a public company.
Any candidate must enjoy communicating with the world through Twitter’s signature 140-character messages, with bonus points for using other products like its live-streaming app, Periscope, or short-video app, Vine.
The new boss needs to win over skeptical investors and inspire employees weary of the management chaos of the last year and a half.
And most important, Twitter’s next leader has to be comfortable operating under the scrutiny of a board that includes all three prior chief executives of the company, each of whom was removed from the job before he really wanted to go.
“Who would walk into something like that?” said Charles M. Elson, director of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware.
Indeed, as Twitter seeks to replace Dick Costolo, who plans to step down July 1, it could face significant challenges attracting outside candidates.
Many on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley believe the board will eventually hand the job to Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chairman and co-founder, who was appointed interim chief executive even as he continues to serve as chief executive of Square, a payments start-up that is facing its own growth challenges.
Mr. Dorsey — who was fired once as chief executive, in 2008, then returned briefly to the company to oversee product development in 2011 — has never lost his ardor for the company or belief in its potential to become the world’s most important communication tool.
He has repeatedly declined to say whether he is interested in staying on as permanent chief executive. But he told the tech-news site Re/code on Tuesday, “I’m as committed as ever to Square and its continued success. I’m Square C.E.O. and that won’t change.”
Mr. Dorsey did not respond to an email on Thursday requesting comment, and a Square spokesman referred to his statement to Re/code.
Twitter’s eight-member board is ambivalent about the possibility of Mr. Dorsey’s returning on a permanent basis, according to people with knowledge of the board’s thinking, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were sharing details of private discussions. Some directors doubt whether he has the right mix of skills to manage a complex public company, while others believe his passion for the product he helped create gives him an appeal that is unlikely to be topped by any outsider.
Wall Street has been troubled by Twitter’s anemic user growth and constant management turmoil since its November 2013 initial public offering, and a key responsibility of the new C.E.O. will be to soothe restless shareholders.
“Jack coming back full time would be very positive for employee morale,” said Mark Mahaney, an Internet analyst who follows the company for RBC Capital Markets. “The question is whether Jack Dorsey on the product side is willing to break some typecasts at the company and come in with a fresh perspective.”
When he was appointed last week, Mr. Dorsey said he planned to continue with Twitter’s current strategy and team. On Thursday, the company confirmed that the strategy includes a major addition to its apps and website, code-named Project Lightning, that would make it far easier for both power users and casual visitors to find the top tweets about live events and breaking news.
The people privy to the board’s discussions said that the chief executive search committee is interviewing executive search firms and is committed to conducting a full and thorough search for a new leader. Such searches typically take three to six months.
Mr. Dorsey would be seriously considered only if he were willing to commit to Twitter full time and give up his position at Square, those people said.
The two other internal candidates mentioned for the job — Adam Bain, president of global revenue and partnerships, and Anthony Noto, chief financial officer — are unlikely to make the final cut because they lack experience as chief executives at public companies, said the people familiar with the board’s discussions.
Mr. Mahaney said it was unclear who on the outside would have the stature, technical chops — and desire — to manage all of the company’s constituencies.
Some board members have already discussed one favorite outside contender but do not know whether that candidate is interested, according to three people with knowledge of the board’s deliberations.
Peter Currie, the director leading the search committee, was unavailable for interviews, a spokesman said.
In addition to Mr. Currie, the committee includes Evan Williams, a Twitter co-founder and former chief executive, and Peter Fenton, a partner at Benchmark, a venture capital firm that was one of the company’s early investors. Mr. Williams was ousted from the chief’s job by Mr. Dorsey in 2010 and harbors little affection for him, while Mr. Fenton is one of Mr. Dorsey’s strongest supporters.
One challenge for any new chief executive will be dealing with the close relationship that Twitter’s board members have had with other people in the company, dating to its formation in 2006.
Under Mr. Costolo, an advocate of an open management style, board members have been free to meet with key operating executives as they see fit, and sometimes even help with tasks such as recruiting employees. Longtime associates of the company, such as the early investor Chris Sacca, often get prerelease access to new products like Periscope, the live-video app that Twitter released in March, and offer product feedback.
Mr. Costolo says he dines every Tuesday night with Mr. Dorsey. “He has this fluency about the way he thinks about the product and the way he thinks about its potential that’s almost remarkable,” Mr. Costolo said during an onstage interview Tuesday at a Bloomberg technology conference. “We talk about the company and the product and the kinds of things we’re thinking about for hours.”
He said that he hoped he could provide similar assistance to Twitter’s next chief. “I think the benefit of that kind of institutional knowledge, and about the team and the product and things we’ve tried and learned, will be helpful,” he said.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor of management at Yale who has spent decades studying executive succession, said that directors, especially former chiefs, can serve as advisers to a chief executive but should not get involved in operations.
With Twitter’s former leaders hovering in the background, “the employees are going to feel some kind of filial loyalty to one or all three of the predecessors,” he said. “Customers are confused. They are going to go to the people they know.”
“This succession process indicates tortured decision-making by this board,” Mr. Sonnenfeld said. “It’s not reassuring.”
SEATTLE — With hometown companies like Amazon and Microsoft, this bustling region on the Puget Sound easily ranks in the top tier of technology hubs in the United States.
But the area lags its peers in one glaring way: It is home to a single major research university, the University of Washington, while nearly every other big technology scene in the country has at least two.
For years, that weakness has stoked local unease about whether the gap between the supply of people with computer-related degrees and the surge in demand for those skills could impede the region’s economy. “We’ve long realized we’re at a relative competitive disadvantage when it comes to higher education,” said Bradford L. Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel.
On Thursday, Seattle’s top academic and business leaders unveiled a plan to create a new institute of learning, with the goal of strengthening the educational foundation of the region’s high-tech economy. The institute, the Global Innovation Exchange, is a partnership between the University of Washington and one of China’s leading research universities, Tsinghua University. It will open in fall 2016 with a master’s degree program in technology innovation.
Microsoft will contribute $40 million to help the institute get started. Some of the money will go toward creating a base for the institute in a large new urban development project in Bellevue, Wash., about 10 miles from the University of Washington’s main campus. Faculty for the school will come from the University of Washington, Tsinghua and, eventually, a couple other international universities the Global Innovation Exchange expects to attract as partners.
It will start with only a few dozen students, but the institute has a goal of more than 3,000 a decade from now. Tsinghua is expected to help recruit Chinese students to the institute, providing an important global aspect, said Ana Mari Cauce, interim president of the University of Washington.
“This will be the first time a Chinese university has a physical spot in the U.S.,” Dr. Cauce said in an interview before the public announcement of the institute. “That’s a big deal.”
The institute will not initially grant undergraduate degrees, which will limit its potential to make a dent in the region’s deficit of technology talent, at least in the near term. But the participants in the project said it was too early to predict what the institute could eventually become. “Fundamentally, it’s about looking ahead a decade and a century,” Mr. Smith said.
A 2013 report by the Washington Student Achievement Council, a state agency focused on education, said the state needed to produce more than 2,700 additional bachelor’s degrees annually in computer science to meet projected employer demand in the region through 2021. The University of Washington currently awards about 300 computer science degrees a year.
Glenn Kelman, chief executive of Redfin, an online real estate company based in Seattle, said he had never seen a region so solely dependent on one research institution. “I was shocked when I got here,” Mr. Kelman said. “Really, it’s Microsoft and Amazon and a dozen other companies our size and hundreds of even smaller ones picking over the same group of graduating computer scientists. It’s an incredibly small group of people.”
Silicon Valley’s development is closely linked to the strength of two institutes of higher education, one public and the other private, the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford. The University of Washington, a public university, has one of the top computer science programs in the country. But it turns away a significant number of students applying for computer science because it has not had enough money to increase capacity.
The university is seeking to graduate more computer science students through an effort separate from the Global Innovation Exchange. Last week, it announced that Microsoft was the lead donor, with a $10 million gift, for a $110 million effort to build a new 130,000-square-foot computer science building, one that will allow the university to double, to 600, the number of degrees it awards annually in the field.
The institute will not concentrate on long-term research at first, focusing instead on “project-based learning,” in which students work on intensive, short-term undertakings. The first students will work on projects related to wearable technology and the Internet of things.
“China and the United States are two leading economies with enormous strengths in technological innovation,” said Qiu Yong, president of Tsinghua University. “The higher educational collaboration between them facilitates the scientific and technological progress and social development around the world.”
The Global Innovation Exchange was inspired partly by Cornell Tech, an effort to create a major new computer science-focused campus on Roosevelt Island in New York. That project, which had its groundbreaking this week, also has an international partner in Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The Cornell project will involve close collaborations with technology companies, partly to make it more responsive to industry trends.
Daniel P. Huttenlocher, the dean of Cornell Tech, said he was excited to see the institute in the Seattle area get off the ground.
“These are leading-edge experiments in how to educate students for a new kind of world,” said Dr. Huttenlocher, who spoke with the University of Washington educators as they were planning the project.
In a nod to one of the top technical universities in the country, M.I.T., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the founders of the Global Innovation Exchange have already taken to referring to it by the initials G.I.X. Th