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Time for ‘fresh thinking’: market reacts as Jack Dorsey resigns from Twitter

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By Amy Houston | Reporter

November 29, 2021 | 5 min read

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has resigned, leading to a spike in its share price and hope from the industry that a new chief executive will pave the way for fresh thinking at the platform.

Dorsey will be replaced by Parag Agrawal, its current chief technology officer, but will continue to serve on the board until 2022, when his term will expire.

In a statement issued today, Dorsey said: “After almost 16 years of having a role at our company ... from co-founder to CEO to chair to exec chair to interim CEO to CEO ... I decided it is finally time for me to leave.

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Twitter’s chief exec Jack Dorsey is stepping down

“I want you all to know that this was my decision and I own it. It was a tough one for me, of course. I love this service and company ... and all of you so much. I’m really sad ... yet really happy. There aren’t many companies that get to this level. And there aren’t many founders that choose their own company over their own ego. I know we’ll prove this was the right move.”

Dorsey launched Twitter in 2006 as ‘Twttr.’ His reign as chief executive officer was cut short two years later when the board voted him out. In 2011 he rejoined the company with a focus on product development and has since split his time between Twitter and Square, the digital payment and financial services app he founded in 2009.

“Jack Dorsey has been dividing his CEO responsibilities between Twitter and Square for some time; given the size of the companies, arguably these are both full-time roles,” said Jim Coleman, UK chief executive officer at We Are Social.

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“As such, his departure won’t come as a huge surprise to many, particularly as Elliott Management, an activist investor in the platform, has been pushing for his departure for some time.”

Twitter’s share price rose by 11% on the news of his exit, though returned to normal trading levels shortly after.

Coleman said that Twitter has historically lacked the “innovative streak of some of its challenger counterparts like TikTok.”

Dorsey’s departure would allow for new leadership to bring “fresh thinking to a platform with massive influence and reach and even greater potential, potentially pleasing both investors and users alike,” he added.

Chris Woodward, managing director at Oliver Group, echoed this sentiment by commenting that “it’s the end of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey era and it’s for the best.

“There can be no doubt that Jack Dorsey is a true revolutionary within the tech space. And the revolutionary in Dorsey knows that change is inevitable. Resolving Twitter’s management is crucially important to the platform’s future targets. It’s been reported that they need to double their revenue by the end of 2023 and have 315 million daily monetizable users.”

Alistair Parrington, chief solutions officer at Jellyfish Social added that "this is probably a good thing long term for Twitter - we always thought it somewhat crazy that Jack Dorsey could be CEO of two publicly traded companies at the same time and wondered how much his split attention could have been holding back such an influential platform,"

"We found Jack's comments about it being important for a company to remove itself from 'its founding and founders' and for a company to 'stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction' pretty interesting since it chimes with so much of what we read and hear about the Metaverse and Web 3 principles," he concluded.

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