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Jack Dorsey on Twitter: Did he quit or was he fired?

In early 2016, I flew to San Francisco for a week to meet with my top Twitter counterparts. Jack Dorsey, one of the co-founders of the social media startup, recently returned to the company as CEO, taking over Dick Costolo, who had taken Twitter public a few years earlier. This isn’t the first time Dorsey has run Twitter. As I detailed in my book about the early days of Twitter, Bloom Twitter, Dorsey served as CEO during the company’s early years, before being fired for not knowing how to run the company. Evan Williams, Twitter’s other co-founder has taken over. Dorsey, angered by his ouster, then turned to oust Williams, and the music executive chair continued for a decade until Dorsey once again returned to lead Twitter under Trump. My question to the executives I met that year was simple: What if Dorsey (again) failed to grow Twitter to its full potential? Who will take over? At the time, I was told by Twitter admins, “No Plan B.” It’s Jack Dorsey or bust.

On Monday, five years after that announcement, Dorsey announced he was stepping down on Twitter. Plan B, it turns out, is the company’s chief technology officer, Parag Agrawal. In one resignation, Dorsey said, “After nearly 16 years in roles at our company… from Co-Founder to CEO to President to Executive Chairman to Interim CEO to CEO act… I decided it was finally time for me to leave.” But what has changed? Why is Dorsey leaving now? Was he overthrown? Or is he “resigning” on his own terms? The answers to those questions vary depending on who you ask.

I spoke to nearly half a dozen people familiar with the inner workings of the company, and although they were not directly involved in Dorsey’s “resignation,” these are people who have a deep understanding of where this, and as such has theorized that Dorsey is being ousted as CEO, rather than leaving of his own accord. (Twitter itself did not immediately respond to a request for comment.) In 2020, Elliott Management, a hedge fund known for its activist investors, controls approximately 48 billion dollars assets, bought $1 billion in Twitter stock and started a campaign to demand change at Twitter, with a specific goal in mind: get rid of Dorsey. At the time, Dorsey refused to step down as CEO, using the argument that he was the founder of Twitter and therefore the only person who could run it, according to people familiar with Dorsey’s thinking at the time. at that moment. Earlier this year, in April, when it was announced that activist investor Elliott Management Jesse Cohn to be plan to resign from the board of directors, it looks like Dorsey survived Heir-like a coup. Then I heard rumors from someone close to Twitter’s board over the summer that there was indeed a CEO search going on at the company, but at the time I assumed it was just theater because Dorsey had been virtually inoperable for nearly 16 years. years, and always tried to thwart attempts to kick him out of the company. In May, Elliott Management increased Twitter holdings, buying more 200 million dollars shares when the company’s value fell more than 15% following a sluggish earnings report. Looking back now, it looks like Dorsey’s death knell has been rung.

While one former senior employee at Twitter believes Dorsey may indeed have decided to step down of his own accord, the employee admitted that his resignation was handled in a very special way. Instead of having an overlapping transition period where Dorsey trained his replacement, the transition happened instantaneously, which the former employee said was “weird”. For others, what has led many to assume that Dorsey has little say in the matter is the fact that he is not only stepping down as CEO, effective immediately, but that he is leaving the board. of Twitter in May. In the past, when founders and CEOs resigned, they would stick around indefinitely to help guide a company’s operations, based on their own understanding of a business. Bill Gates remained on Microsoft’s board some 20 years after he stepped down as CEO, and only when the board opened an investigation into his previous romantic relationship with a Microsoft employee that was deemed inappropriate. Eric Schmidt and Larry Page, both served as CEOs of Google, stay on the board for a while after his resignation (Page remained on Alphabet’s board). Even Twitter co-founder Evan Williams still on the board of Twitter for more than a decade after he was ejected by Dorsey. The problem with keeping Dorsey on the board now is that every time he’s given up a leadership role at the company in the past and in turn stayed on the company’s board, he’s found a way back. CEO position. In my theory, the only way to make sure that doesn’t happen again, one former employee told me, is to get him out of the company altogether.

Another person close to the company and the board told me that the possible scenario of why Dorsey is leaving so suddenly is somewhere between his resignation and being forced to quit. “Two years ago, Jack was friends with everyone on the board,” the person said, and they wouldn’t do anything to hold him accountable for the company’s sluggish performance in the past two years. past few years. “I think people are a little embarrassed when Elliott Management comes out and says it’s unacceptable that a public company of this size doesn’t have a full-time CEO,” the person told me. “Two years later, and I think Jack knows his performance as CEO hasn’t been up to par, and although he’s been ousted before, he knows that it’s up to other investors, or his new person is only a matter of time. board of directors, will force him out of his position as CEO. “In other words, Dorsey wasn’t pushed out right now, but he did see the writing on the wall.

For Dorsey, leaving the company he spent nearly 16 years fighting to continue to be a part of could be the best thing that could happen to him — and to Twitter. Dorsey’s stature over the past five years has skyrocketed in both wealth and attention. When I first started protecting him and the company, Dorsey lived in a small studio in San Francisco’s Mission district and lived on a month’s salary, barely able to afford new clothes. Now he is worth almost estimated 12 billion dollars, in part from his Twitter stock, his stock in Square, and the Bitcoin acquisitions he’s made over the years. He no longer hangs out with his Twitter and Square subordinates, whom he’s been friends with for years, but is part of an elite group of A-listers, go rowing with Jay-Z and Beyoncé, or go on holiday with Sean Penn and Israeli venture capitalist Vivi Nevo In Hawaii. And his latest obsession seems to be with Bitcoins and Cryptocurrencies, not necessarily the future of Twitter.



https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/11/twitter-did-jack-dorsey-quit-or-was-he-fired Jack Dorsey on Twitter: Did he quit or was he fired?

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