Twitter founder Jack Dorsey steps down to focus on Square — and let Twitter find itself
New pinned tweet… 15 years, 8 months, and 8 days after posting history’s first tweet, Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has stepped down. CNBC broke the news yesterday, and Dorsey confirmed via tweet. Twitter shares spiked after Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal was promoted to CEO, but closed down 3%.
- Dorsey has served double duty for years as the leader of both Twitter and payments giant Square joining Elon in the unusual double-CEO club.
- But investors have criticized Dorsey for treating Square — which is nearly 3X as valuable as Twitter — as his favorite child.
Not so namaste… Dorsey and Twitter have had a #complicated relationship for years. In 2008, he was fired from his CEO-ship for spending too much time on extracurriculars (think: vipassana meditation retreats, fashion classes). Then, in 2015, Dorsey made a Jobs-ian return as chief exec. Last year, activist investor Elliott Management tried to pressure him to either step down or stop multitasking. Now, Dorsey is leaving at a transformational time for Twitter:
- Ups: This year, Twitter unveiled targets to double revenue by 2023 by attracting new users and launched fresh features like its Twitter Blue subscription and Audio Spaces.
- Downs: Congress grilled Twitter over failing to fight misinformation, and its revenue is growing slower than other social giants’.
Sometimes it’s good for founders to get lost…In his resignation letter, Dorsey said companies must eventually ditch their founders to keep evolving. Some analysts argue that founder-led companies outperform competitors. But tech stars like Microsoft, Amazon and Google have thrived without their parents. We’ll see if new Twitter boss Agrawal can guide the blue bird to a new era of growth.