reported and confirmed that he is leaving the company.The first Chief Technology Officer of one of the most important communication technology companies of our time has left his job today - and for a guy who made public disclosure easier than ever, we hardly knew the man. Greg Pass joined Twitter three years ago when his search company Summize was acquired. He went on to become Twitter CTO and today it was
People close to the company say he's a quiet, humble and very smart man. His Twitter profile, @gregpass, makes no mention of his work at the company and he never Tweets about it. He's Tweeted thousands of words over the past three years though and I just looked at every one of them. (Well, almost every one; the archive only goes back so far. Greg, could you...oh, nevermind.) Here are ten interesting things you probably didn't know about Twitter's mysterious outgoing CTO.
- Pass appears to have never participated in any of the Google Groups email lists the company uses to communicate with the outside world. The only reference to him in those conversations was a passing note that some mystery could perhaps be attributed to "Greg Pass magic going on...behind the scenes."
- Pass created his Twitter account just 3 months before his company Summize was acquired and he became VP of Engineering at Twitter. He must be a fast learner.
- When the company was acquired in a very high-profile deal, something outsiders consider one of the most important moves the company has made, Pass made no mention of it on his Twitter account. He merely wrote that week that he was "packing for a twip."
- Almost all of Pass's Tweets are cryptic or mystical. "Coincidentally: Mongolian yurt." "Being surrounded by approximately 1,400 butterflies, and perspiring." His blog is full of posts about art and science.
- Pass has slowed down on Twitter lately. He tweeted more than 1200 times over the past 2 years prior, but only 21 times so far this year.
- Pass has never used the name of competitor Facebook in a Tweet. He has, though, mentioned the band Devo at least 14 times, more than any other single topic of conversation.
- His second-favorite topic to Tweet about is eyes, eg. "Contemplating the differences between winged-eyes and eyed-wings." Those who would call Twitter users big of mouth and small of brain would be well served to appreciate the disposition of the man who's led the building of the technology over the past three years.
- Pass is not very into one of the company's most (to me) exciting features: Twitter Lists. He's only created one - an automated list called Conversationalists.
- Pass's first handful of people he followed on Twitter look like the staff list of Summize, but it turns out he's been following one of Twitter's newest hires, data visualization pro William Couch, since before he started following @jack and @biz. @Couch just joined the Twitter team a few weeks ago after working for years as a designer at USA Today.
- Speaking of people Pass seems to admire: Though widely described as the quiet type, Pass seems to be a fan of the superhero He-Man. He's talked about it a number of times over the years.
Who will be the next Chief Technology Officer of a company that makes it so easy to share and see details about the lives of its users, even if they are relatively quiet people? No replacement has been announced, but I hope it will be someone who can do as good a job as Greg Pass has done.