Tech

Jack Dorsey, a multi-tasking visionary with a wizard’s beard, is stepping down as CEO of Twitter.

Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is stepping down as CEO, marking the end of an era for the company that was shaped and led by its visionary and at times absent-minded founder. Dorsey will remain on Twitter’s board until at least next year.

The news, first published by CNBC, was somewhat of a surprise, especially given the time: Monday morning and the corporate Twitter post after Thanksgiving weekend.

Otherwise, Dorsey’s resignation was long overdue. Wall Street investors criticized the Twitter co-founder for his outside interests: running another important tech company he founded, Square; chasing futuristic designs around decentralization of the internet using blockchain; and travelling aroun the world… Over the past year, the formidable active investor Elliott Management has persistently sought his resignation even earlier.

Dorsey is replaced by former Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal, who has worked for the company for 10 years and is considered a reliable leader among his employees. Agrawal was responsible for realizing Dorsey’s vision of creating a decentralized version of social media based on blockchain technology that would allow users to choose their own algorithms.

It’s too early to say if Twitter will operate differently under Agrawal’s control and how, but we know for sure that the company is losing its visionary and original thinking as a founding leader. He may have been absent from the CEO at times, but nevertheless, many in the tech industry respected him for inventing a platform that got the public to talk to each other about topics both trivial and world-changing, while maintaining a sense of humor and eccentricity. … personal style.

“I want you all to know that this was my decision and it belongs to me. Of course, I had a hard time. I love this service and company … and all of you so much. I’m very sad … but still very good, “Dorsey wrote in a corporate email on Monday. he also tweeted… “There aren’t many companies that make it to this level. And not many founders choose a company over their own egos. I know that we will prove that it was the right move. ”

You may have read Dorsey’s emphasis on “founder ego” in his farewell note as the dig of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who founded the company 17 years ago and doesn’t seem to have plans to relinquish control of it. Unlike Zuckerberg, Dorsey has been known to skillfully delegate some key decisions – like whether to kick former President Donald Trump off the platform – to his staff, such as the General Counsel. Vijaya Gadde, whose team made the last call to ban Trump after Dorsey signed (Dorsey reportedly traveled through French Polynesia approximately at the time of making a decision).

Dorsey was a somewhat unconventional leader, and under his leadership, Twitter did a little differently. While Twitter suffers from the same issues of hate speech, extremism and harassment that all major social media platforms face, it has managed to get praise from members of the social media research community for offering more transparency, at least least compared to the competition in terms of what is going on. viral on its platform. And the company clearly has incredible influence as a social media platform preferred by world leaders, journalists, and many celebrities and influencers.

But at the same time fought to increase user base and financial success as competitors such as YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook. This is partly due to the fact that Twitter, unlike some of its competitors, takes a relatively balanced approach to its product development. For a long time, Twitter was not focused on making money; he hasn’t sold ads in years. His product design hasn’t changed much. In addition, out of habit, the company did not acquire or copy its competitors, as Facebook often does.

And some of Dorsey’s personal plans and interests in recent years have given outside critics more reason to push for his replacement. It is known that Dorsey wanted to leave Silicon Valley to move to Africa for at least three months in 2019 (he later ditched those plans), and in the past few years, he began to devote more time to developing a new decentralized social media ecosystem, Bluesky. In tweets and public interviews, Dorsey has spent more time talking about Bluesky, cryptography, blockchain, and other related decentralized projects on the Internet over the past few years than developing Twitter’s core product itself.

The Elliott Management group made Dorsey’s divided attention at the heart of its failed attempt to oust Dorsey from the company last year.

Yet despite these challenges, Dorsey is leaving Twitter in a state of relative strength compared to even a year ago. In recent months, Twitter has been rapidly monetizing more and more of its products, beyond just advertising. Introducing Tools Like Twitter Blue, version of the platform with a paid subscription. At the same time, the company’s profit over the past few quarters has been relatively high.

“Jack says he’s picking a company, not his own ego, but I think that’s as good as it gets for the company – and he walks away with the opportunity to say the stock is up,” a former Twitter executive told Recode. … The source also said Dorsey trusts new CEO Agrawal, who is still bringing his vision to life. “A change of leadership always gives engineers a lot of excitement … so the appointment of a CTO reassures engineers and supports the constant, iterative product direction that Jack has overseen.”

Dorsey stepped down as CEO of Twitter once, after his reign supplanted him in 2008, only to Steve Jobs-style comeback in 2015… However, it is less likely that he will return a second time.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about Twitter’s leadership change. In the coming weeks, we should learn more about the circumstances surrounding Dorsey’s departure and how the company could change under Agrawal.

But what’s most clear now is that Dorsey’s departure is another example of a trend in other big tech companies. As my colleague Peter Kafka wrote earlier this year, when Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said he would step down as CEO, Big Tech has grown so big that it no longer needs demigod startup founders to lead. Bezos, Apple’s Steve Jobs, Google’s Sergey Brin, and Google’s Larry Page have turned their companies over to trusted executives with more low-key characters – and these companies are still doing well financially.

The exception is Mark Zuckerberg, the tech company’s founding CEO, who doesn’t seem to be planning on retiring, even though he and his company are constantly mired in scandals. Unlike Dorsey, Zuckerberg was rewarded by Wall Street for his tireless pursuit of increasing his company’s bottom line. And also, unlike Dorsey, Zuckerberg managed to negotiate unilateral control of his board of directors from the outset.

Dorsey could still lead if he had more power over Twitter’s board of directors or if he grew the company to the scale of Facebook.

But instead, Twitter will move into a new era – without the eccentric, bearded wizard leader who trolled Congress and spoke poetically about the future of the decentralized web. Dorsey’s years may not have been the most focused, but they are memorable.

Peter Kafka has prepared a reportage for this article.




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