The end of an era? A new report broke the news that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will be stepping down from the company soon. Dorsey has been behind the wheel of Twitter since he helped co-found it, and his absence from leadership of the company could set it on a new course. So why is Dorsey stepping down, and what does it mean for Twitter?
The internet is abuzz as one of social media’s titans will soon be taking a step away. CEO of Twitter Dorsey is out, according to unnamed sources who spoke with CNBC. CNBC reports, “It’s unclear who’s set to succeed Dorsey or the timing of a potential announcement. It’s also unknown why Dorsey, 45, would take a step back. But if he steps down, the next CEO will have to meet Twitter’s aggressive internal goals. The company said earlier this year it aims to have 315 million monetizable daily active users by the end of 2023 and to at least double its annual revenue in that year.”
Last year, Dorsey was almost pushed out of the position by stakeholders, but retained his top spot. Founder of Elliot Management and billionaire investor Paul Singer tried to convince Twitter that Dorsey shouldn’t be CEO of both Elliot and Twitter last year. In the end, the investment company struck a deal with Twitter and Dorsey stayed in leadership position at both.
Dorsey himself posted about his plans to leave Twitter early on Monday, ending speculation about the CNBC report. “not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter.” In the detailed letter about his reasons for leaving, Dorsey also makes clear who will be succeeding him: Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal.
Dorsey’s Time at Twitter
This isn’t the first time Dorsey has left. Dorsey helped co-found Twitter with Ev Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass in 2006. Dorsey served as CEO until 2008, when he stepped down. But Dorsey wasn’t done with Twitter yet, and he returned in 2015 to again serve as Chief Executive Officer.
Dorsey is sometimes considered somewhat of a controversial figurehead of the company, and Forbes reports, “He is also the CEO of Square, the digital financial payment company he founded in 2009. Hailed as a tech guru, Dorsey is known for leading a more eccentric lifestyle than his Silicon Valley peers, saying he takes daily ice baths, eats only one meal a day and fasts on weekends. Before working in tech, he trained as a masseuse.”
During the President Donald Trump Administration, Dorsey faced criticism from the Left and the Right that he wasn’t doing enough. The Left accused him of refusing to censor what they considered to be violent and often -phobic speech from Conservative voices. The Right believed they were being censored and came down on Dorsey for perceived unfair policies. In the end, Dorsey and the Twitter team took the unprecedented step of blocking the former President from the platform after the January 6th attempted Insurrection, which immediately received backlash from First Amendment advocates. Nonetheless, as long as Dorsey has been in charge, Twitter has stayed the course and the ban has remained. Could his end as leader at Twitter be an opportunity for the former President to return to the platform? He will certainly make the attempt, whatever comes of it.
Twitter Stocks Soar
For now, reaction to the end of Dorsey’s tenure is mixed. Many online feel that the somewhat eccentric CEO did the best anyone could with the tensions of the past four years. And Twitter is known for staying above the kind of drama and controversy that bogs down platforms like Instagram and Facebook – so Dorsey gets credit for that.
But the stock market seems pleased. Business Insider reports via MSN, “Twitter stock sharply jumped Monday following a CNBC report that Jack Dorsey is expected to step down from his role as CEO of the social media company.
Before trading was halted for pending news, shares climbed 8.8% to $51.20 as the regular session got underway in already heavy volume after CNBC’s report that cited unnamed sources. It’s unclear who would succeed Dorsey at the company he co-founded in 2006 and that made him a billionaire.
Twitter stock suddenly jumped by 11% during premarket trade after the publication of CNBC’s report. The stock had lost 13% year to date through Friday’s session when it finished at its lowest price since mid-January.
Dorsey also serves as CEO of Square, a payments technology and services company. Square shares pared gains Monday and were up 0.2%.”
Generally, if financial leaders are concerned about what comes next, stocks aren’t going to soar. It’s clear they’re confident about what comes next for Twitter. When Dorsey does finalize stepping down, it will be an interesting few weeks as the social media platform’s future takes shape.