Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is stepping down as chief executive of the company. He will be replaced by the current chief technical officer, Parag Agrawal, Twitter said.
Mr Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006, has been serving as chief executive of both Twitter and payment firm Square.”It’s finally time for me to leave” he wrote in a statement, saying the company was “ready to move on.”
Mr Dorsey said he had “deep” trust in his replacement. “I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead,” he said. Mr Agrawal joined Twitter in 2011, and has been the firm’s head of technology since 2017.
News of Mr Dorsey’s departure was first reported by CNBC on Monday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Reuters news agency separately reported it had been told the same. Twitter’s share price jumped slightly as rumours of his departure emerged. Trading of shares on the stock exchange was temporarily halted as a result, but has since resumed.
In a separate message to the official corporate statement, Mr Dorsey tweeted: “Not sure anyone has heard but I resigned from Twitter”.
“There’s a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘founder-led’. Ultimately I believe that’s severely limiting and a single point of failure,” he wrote in an attached email he sent to staff.
He added that he would leave the board after his term expires.
Jack Dorsey is a multi-billionaire and has founded two hugely successful companies, Twitter and Square. He genuinely believes, for example, that Bitcoin has the ability to create “world peace”. And with Twitter, he certainly has changed the world.
In particular, it revolutionized how politicians communicate with voters – and how news is communicated with the public. Perhaps the best known user of Twitter was Donald Trump. The populist US president used the platform as a key way of bypassing traditional media.
The decision to remove him from the platform after the Capitol Hill riots was undoubtedly the most controversial moment of Jack Dorsey’s time. Mr Dorsey claims this is his decision. But at a multi-billion-dollar company, there could well be more at play behind the scenes.
Calls for his departure came in 2020 from Elliott management, an investment firm which owns a significant amount of Twitter’s shares. The firm reportedly felt that a full-time chief executive with only one company to run would be better for Twitter’s fortunes.
But the two sides later came to an agreement which saw Mr Dorsey remain in his post. Reacting to the news of Mr Dorsey’s resignation, Elliott said the new management team were “the right leaders for Twitter at this pivotal moment for the company”.