Twitter’s Jack Dorsey steps down as CEO of the company he founded 15 years ago

Now there is one less character on Twitter.

Controversial founder Jack Dorsey resigned as CEO of the social media giant for the second time on Monday, under pressure from frustrated investors that the company has yet to turn its large user base into a bigger revenue stream, and in between criticism of the role of social networks. media companies in spreading misinformation.

Dorsey was replaced, effective immediately, by the company’s chief technology officer, Parag Agrawal. Longtime tech industry executive Bret Taylor was named chairman of the board.

“The company is ready to leave its founders behind,” Dorsey said in a written statement. “My confidence in Parag as CEO of Twitter runs deep. His work for the past 10 years has been transformative. I am deeply grateful for your skill, heart and soul. It’s your time to lead. “

Dorsey, who founded Twitter in 2006, first resigned as CEO in 2008, but decided to resume the role in 2015.

Twitter has consistently lagged behind Facebook when it comes to monetizing its user base, and has also been overshadowed among younger social media users by newer platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. It has also seen its stock price growth rapidly outpaced by other tech industry companies such as Facebook, Alphabet and Microsoft.

But the appointment of Taylor and Agrawal looks like the company has decided to stick with its current course, said Scott Kessler, technology sector leader at Third Bridge Group, an investment research firm.

“If you look at who they’re bringing in, it sure doesn’t look like they’re making a dramatic change,” Kessler said. “They are both tech guys. They are not specialists in monetization and income. “

According to Bloomberg, Dorsey came under heavy criticism from activist investor Elliott Management in 2020, but was allowed to stay if the company increased its revenue by 20 percent.

In a statement Monday, Elliott Investment Management praised Dorsey.

“Our collaboration with Jack and the company over the past two years has been productive and effective. Twitter is now executing an ambitious multi-year plan to dramatically increase the reach and value of the company, and we look forward to the next chapter in the Twitter story, ”said Elliott. “Having met both incoming President Bret Taylor and incoming CEO Parag Agrawal, we are confident that they are the right leaders for Twitter at this crucial time for the company.”

While Dorsey helped Twitter turn a profit in his second term as CEO, it’s clear he didn’t put his time away from the company to good use, said Glenn Rowe, a professor of management at Western University’s Ivey School of Business. Winning back a charismatic founder can be a tempting idea, but it’s not always the right thing to do.

“It can work if you take the time to learn skills that you didn’t have the first time. You have to develop a broader skill set. Steve Jobs did that at Apple. Howard Schulz did that at Starbucks. I’m not sure Jack Dorsey did that on Twitter, ”Rowe said.

During Dorsey’s six-year tenure, other megatech stocks have posted triple-digit gains: Apple is up over 450% and Amazon is back over 580%, while Alphabet is up around 345% and Microsoft soaring around 640%.

Shares of Twitter fluctuated between profit and loss and fell 0.4 percent as of 12:05 p.m. Monday after they resumed trading when the company said Dorsey was stepping down. It had risen as much as 11 percent before a business interruption amid reports that Dorsey was retiring.

Dorsey, 45, is also a director of the payments company Square Inc. and has become increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies. Square’s stock market performance has been much better than Twitter’s, with the stock rising nearly 23 times since its initial public offering in 2015.

With files from Bloomberg

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