@jack, the top man who was different

@jack, the top man who was different

Usually, the departure of a founder from a large company is accompanied by a price fall, but investors in Twitter bounced on Monday. Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, made via his Twitter account @jack announced that he will resign from his position with immediate effect. The share price of the social media platform shot up more than 10 percent. The stock market even had to be stopped for a while.

“I love twitter”, Dorsey, 45, tweeted Sunday, hinting at his impending departure. Investors are not satisfied with love alone. Twitter is under pressure because its results lag behind those of other social networks. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok are growing while Twitter has to juggle numbers to mask setbacks.

This year, Twitter had to pay 700 million euros to investors. They were misled by an over-optimistic forecast in 2014. Twitter then promised a doubling of the number of users, to 550 million.

The network now has 211 million daily users – an increase of 13 percent from a year earlier. Twitter wants an annual increase in the number of users of 20 percent. The new CEO who must achieve this is Parag Agrawal, technical director until Monday.

Agrawal has a difficult task. Twitter (annual turnover converted to 3.3 billion euros) earns money from advertisements, but that market has been struggling since Apple tightened the privacy policy of the iPhone. Partly for this reason, Twitter introduced a paid service, blue.

Two companies at once

Jack Dorsey returned to Twitter in 2015 – at first temporarily – because previous CEO Dick Costolo was unable to achieve growth. Dorsey had meanwhile set up another successful company (Square payment service) and thus started running two companies at once. It’s not impossible to run multiple companies at once, Elon Musk is living proof, but Dorsey seemed to struggle with the combination.

Dorsey was also CEO for a short time in the early years of the social media company, founded in 2006. From Nick Bilton’s book Hatching Twitter (2014) shows that his co-founders were annoyed by Dorsey at the time. He was too preoccupied with yoga and clothing design for their taste—rather than worrying about lagging growth rates.

Dorsey remained an atypical top executive. He subjected himself to strict diets, ice baths and strenuous exercise and grew an impressive beard. He also planned to move from Silicon Valley to Africa permanently.

Dorsey ends his suicide note with the wish that Twitter will be the most transparent company in the world. Under his authority, Twitter was the first social network to take serious action against fake news and hate speech.

Twitter silenced US President Trump — first with additional “warnings” if Trump reported a lie or encouraged violence. In the end, a complete blockage from @realDonaldTrump, after the storming of the Capitol.

Dorsey no longer has to work for the money. His net worth is estimated at over $12 billion. Much of that amount is based on Square’s value.

@jack, the top man who was different
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