Thursday, March 30, 2023

Jack resigns as Twitter CEO

The sources reported this morning that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey resigns down. A few hours later, Dorsey confirmed the rumours, and Twitter released a statement. Dorsey will have succeeded by Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CTO since 2017. “There’s a lot of chatter about ‘founder-led’ companies,” Dorsey said in an email to Twitter employees, which he also tweeted. “I think that’s a major limitation and a single point of failure. I’ve worked hard to ensure this company can survive its founders.”

The CEO of both Twitter and Square, a financial services provider to both consumers and businesses. Dorsey will remain on Twitter’s Board until the 2022 annual stockholders meeting. Salesforce president and COO Bret Taylor has chosen the next Chairman of the Board, following Patrick Pichette, who will remain on the Board and chair the Audit Committee.

His appointment to the board has one among the reasons Dorsey felt comfortable leaving, as Taylor “understands entrepreneurship, taking chances, large companies, technology and product,” according to Dorsey.

Twitter said the company’s previously stated fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 outlooks, as well as its 2023 goals, have not changed. Twitter’s stock increased 6.1 percent at the time of writing, despite giving up some early gains in the week’s trading cycle.

Twitter is currently worth roughly $40 billion. Not a tiny sum, but less than half the value of Square, which is valued over $99 billion on the open market.

A public company is work. Running two is rare and, we assume, difficult. Square’s stock is also up this morning, though less so. (Twitter’s CEO split time has irked investors.) Square affirmed that Dorsey’s role, leadership, strategy, or financial outlook had not changed.

“I own this decision,” Dorsey wrote to his team. “Few founders chose their firm over their ego. I’m confident we’ll succeed.”

“My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is deep,” he stated in a statement. “His work has been transformative for ten years. I appreciate his talent, heart, and soul. His time has come.”

Agrawal was responsible for Twitter’s technological strategy and led efforts to boost development pace. He also improved machine learning on Twitter. Parag was previously Twitter’s first Distinguished Engineer for his work in revenue and consumer engineering, particularly his role in re-accelerating audience growth in 2016 and 2017. In addition to his doctorate, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Thanks to Jack for his continuous mentoring, support, and partnership. “I am excited to build on what we have achieved under Jack’s leadership and seize the opportunities ahead. We will create great value for our customers and stockholders by continuously improving our execution.”

Also in a tweet, he stated that he is committed to executing Twitter’s strategy and achieving its “ambitious goals,” but that the company would have challenges in delivering results. On Tuesday, Twitter will hold an all-hands meeting with staff Q&A.

A Great Product

Its leadership and product direction have been criticized for being excessively conservative or slow. Twitter’s capacity to develop and ship new products and services has improved recently. Though Twitter’s operation remained mostly unchanged for years, it has added a plethora of new features and acquisitions.

Twitter launched Spaces, followed by Ticketed Spaces, Tip Jar, and streaming shopping (Meta apps like Facebook and Instagram have also picked up the pace when it comes to e-commerce). For $2.99 per month, Twitter Blue offers a more personalized user experience, including the ability to undo tweets.

The social media behemoth also opened its wallet to expand its service. The company has acquired Sphere (a group social messaging software), Breaker (which helped construct Spaces), and most recently Revue, a newsletter platform that allows writers to link their content directly on their profile.

Finally, while Dorsey is the company’s only proponent of crypto, he isn’t alone. More broadly, Twitter hosts Bluesky, a decentralized web project, and is focusing on displaying NFTs on users’ profiles. This may not be the case, as Twitter said earlier this month that it will create a dedicated crypto team. Twitter told TechCrunch at the time that Agrawal will join the new crypto team to help decentralize social media using blockchain technology.

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