• General
  • November 29, 2021
  • 6 minutes read

Moves: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Steps Down

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of social media giant Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), has stepped down from his leadership role. He’s been…

Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of social media giant Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), has stepped down from his leadership role. He’s been replaced in the CEO role by Twitter’s current chief technology officer, Parag Agrawal, effective immediately.

Notably, Dorsey was famous for being the CEO of two public companies simultaneously, Twitter and fintech giant Square (NYSE: SQ). That’s a rarity in the corporate world that brought about reasonable concerns of divided attention, particularly at Twitter which seemed lacking his focus compared to Square.

Last year, a well-known activist hedge fund, Elliott Management, bought a (4%) stake in Twitter and sought to replace Dorsey as CEO. The fund wasn’t immediately successful in its bid but reached a truce with Twitter that included getting a board seat. Anyway, that replacement goal has been met, even when it’s unclear who or what pushed for it. 
  • Along with the CEO role, Twitter also replaced its board chairman. Its newly appointed board chair is Bret Taylor, the President and COO of software giant Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), replacing Patrick Pichette, who’ll remain on the board but as chair of its audit committee. 
  • Taylor has been a Twitter board member since 2016. He’s a storied tech executive: a co-creator of Google Maps, former chief technology officer (CTO) of Facebook, and serial entrepreneur who founded FriendFeed (acquired by Facebook) and Quip, which Salesforce acquired for $750mn and hired him as an executive.
Dorsey has an interesting relationship with Twitter, first of all as a co-founder of the company. He was Twitter’s CEO in its earlier days as a privately-held startup but was ousted in 2008 supposedly for his focus on outside hobbies affecting his performance. He returned as Twitter’s CEO in 2015, after he had founded another high-flying fintech company called Square.

Jack took Square public in 2015, making him one of the few CEOs to be at the helm of two public companies concurrently. That reign has ended, with Dorsey now the CEO of just Square, the company that has grown much higher compared to Twitter under his leadership. For reference, Square had a $4bn market cap in 2015 and $98bn currently, compared to Twitter’s $16bn market cap in 2015 and $37bn now.
  • “I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders. My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead,” Dorsey said in a press statement.
Photo credit: Ryan Lash / TED, under Creative Commons license

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