What was Dick Costolo thinking?
On Sunday, Twitter's CEO pushed back against criticism of the company's apparent lack of female higher-ups with an ad hominem attack against one of its critics.
Twitter's list of board members, executive officers and investors released in its IPO filing last week features only one woman, New York Times reporter Claire Cain Miller pointed out in an article. “It’s the same male chauvinistic thinking," Stanford professor Vivek Wadhwa told Miller for her story. "The fact that they went to the I.P.O. without a single woman on the board, how dare they?”
Costolo didn't take kindly to Wadhwa's words.
@rich1 Vivek Wadhwa is the Carrot Top of academic sources.
— dick costolo (@dickc) October 5, 2013
Instead of addressing Wadhwa's point, Costolo compares him to Carrot Top, a comedian generally criticized for being excessive and irritating. (Costolo would know, being a former improv comedian himself.)
The tact is surprising, considering how fraught the issue of women in tech has become in Silicon Valley. Driving home the discrepancy even more is the fact that more female than male Internet users are on Twitter, according to a 2012 Pew report.
Twitter declined to comment for the New York Times piece, but Costolo has reportedly made finding a woman to join the board a priority, according to Miller.
In another tweet, Costolo does acknowledge the gender imbalance in Twitter's top brass. "I *think* I have an acute understanding of the topic & host of related issues," he wrote. "Of course, proof is in deeds."