Photo: Jack Dorsey
I suppose it makes sense that the quick-witted Jack Dorsey should step down as the CEO of Twitter in, you guessed it, a tweet. The resignation which came as a surprise to the general public and the Twitter social network themselves was something that shook the technology world right up.
Dorsey was an integral part of the Twitter name and brand, his freewheeling approach making him the big presence that he was in Silicon Valley for 15 years. Most notably he was the first CEO of a technological company to penalize the 2016 elected president, Donald Trump, for his inappropriate and volatile tweets. In 2018 after years of pushback from Trump and other figureheads who used Twitter for all the wrong reasons, Dorsey decided to fundamentally restructure Twitter.
He invited outsiders with their new ideas to help prioritize the collective health of the company. Perhaps the best way to explain Dorsey to you is to ask you to remember his appearance before Congress in March. He showed up with a scruffy beard, a nose ring, and tweeted during the hearing which upset many lawmakers. His ability to constantly vex and annoy officials warranted a reputation as a chaotic and sometimes distant manager on Wall Street.
Jack Dorsey’s Quick Wit and Hands Off Leadership
Both admirable and confusing, Dorsey has before announced a huge shift in plans. Before the pandemic, he sent a mass email to everyone alerting them they could work from home – without alerting human resources.
Many people loved him and this attitude, but he also had faced a lot of pressure to depart as CEO because of his overcommitment and packed schedule. Dorsey is also CEO of payments company Square. And, as predicted, once he resigned, the Twitter stock price went dramatically up and then back down at the end of the day.
What Will Happen To Twitter?
The change won’t affect Twitter’s fate in the short term, he was already a very hands-off boss, which was confirmed by many anonymous invidious who’d worked for him before. The chief technology officer, Parag Agrawal is going to replace him and his origins are quite admirable too. Agrawal was an engineer who over the years worked up the ranks and is now in close collaboration with Dorsey in order to continue steering Twitter in the right direction.
Some of these changes include new targets for user growth, quite aggressively implemented, and a paid subscription service that could come into effect. Perhaps because of the success of this on other social media, they are also experimenting with their idea of an audio platform. Dorsey will stay on the board until May of 2022 but said he’ll eventually leave in order to give Agrawal the space he needs to grow into the position and make the right decisions on his own.
The Bigger Picture: Dorsey and Silicon Valley
The bigger picture of Dorsey stepping down is how it will affect Silicon Valley. Already his resignation represents a shift of guard in the Valley and hints at an industry where regulators are going to be battled on a global scale, with huge criticism for big or small roles in the spread of “fake news” and other societal problems. Dorsey agreed, saying there was too heavy of an emphasis on the value of companies that are led by the same person who created them.
He said, “Ultimately, I believe that’s severely limiting and a single point of failure. I’ve worked hard to ensure that this company can break away from its founding and founders.”
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The comment was yes, a jab at Mark Zuckerberg who is the CEO of Facebook and consequential creator. He has almost dictatorial control over the key company decisions which has contributed to the problems Facebook has faced in the past decade. Many people are quite unhappy with Zuckerberg as well, retweeting Dorsey’s resignation letter with a hearty thumbs up towards trolling on Zuck. Earlier this year, we also saw the department of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and many of Google’s founders, meaning that Zuckerberg remains to be the only one left in Silicon Valley when it comes to founders that are also CEOs.
Foe Or Friend: Dorsey’s Intentions Explored
Quite Trades on a power move, his resignation made the Nasdaq composite index, suspending any selling of the Twitter stock. This in turn created a “Day of Rest” for the company as most were left in confusion. Shocked internal workers were responding with exclamation marks and screaming emojis, even executives tweeted in shock at the move they were not themselves expecting.
Dorsey’s motives are not appreciated by everyone but his efforts to step away from the CEO position and direct leadership roles he was given are definitely multi-faceted if you consider the opportunity it created for others with new ideas to grow the platform. Since the resignation, he’s chosen not to tweet about Twitter either (haha) and now focuses on the future of technology which includes cryptocurrency, blockchain, decentralization, and projects within the Bitcoin realm.
Dorsey Leads By Example
His ability to be self-aware and understand the internal problems of his company are what inspired others to adopt the same candidness and selflessness, creating hopefully a new wave for social media and those working behind the scenes. Paul Barrett, the deputy director at the NYU Stern School of Business, sums it up best:
“Dorsey leaves behind a mixed legacy: a platform that’s useful and potent for quick communication but one that’s been exploited by a range of bad actors, including former president Donald Trump, who did his best on Twitter to undermine democracy — until Dorsey’s people finally had enough and shut him down.
Agrawal will hopefully also be a good fit, he’s very keen on the idea of decentralization as well and many are already fond of the close relationship he had with Dorsey.
As for the long-term future of Twitter and Silicon Valley, that remains to be seen but Dorsey still stands by his decisions saying that it was his and that he wholeheartedly owns it. That is something that as a hater or supporter, one can admire.
By Mireille Karadanaian
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Mireille Karadanaian is an entertainment journalist, whose passion for reviewing upcoming TV shows and movies has existed since a young age. She writes reviews and feature entertainment stories for The Hollywood Insider’s inclusive and authentic platform, contributing to the important stories being told in media today. Mireille loves discussing the impact today’s media is making on younger generations who emulate what they see on screen and the Internet, a double-edged sword. Her stories often include the importance of creating content that inspires inclusion, positivity, and productive messages to all audiences and generations. Mireille’s love of covering TV shows, movies, and exciting questions that are being asked in the media world is seen in her writing and her ability to not just report facts but also tell a story.