Jack Dorsey Steps Down as Twitter CEO

Jack Dorsey is moving on, and he's tweeted his entire resignation email to prove it.
Adam Rowe

Twitter's Jack Dorsey revealed today that he will step down as CEO — effective immediately.

The social media company will be promoting its CTO, Parag Agrawal, to fill Dorsey's role, while Dorsey will stay on the company's board until mid-2022.

The move comes in the wake of plenty of changes for Twitter, from a new premium service to tweaked features like undoing tweets or stopping auto-refreshes. But Dorsey's departure is the biggest new shakeup for one of the most prominent social media platforms, so we've rounded up the best reactions and insights from the tech community.

Dorsey and Twitter

Dorsey has a history with getting and losing the CEO title at Twitter. He founded the company in 2007, and was forced out as CEO in 2008, after which he founded the digital payments company Square. Then, he moved back to the Twitter CEO role in 2015, while remaining CEO of Square as well.

In February 2020, news broke that billionaire Republican donor Paul Singer's activist investing company Elliott Management had taken a large stake in the company with the stated aims of replacing Dorsey, among other goals.

Now, Dorsey's moving on, and he's tweeted his entire resignation email to prove it:

Dorsey has grown interested in cryptocurrencies and decentralized tech in the past few years, and it seems likely his next move will center on that space.

Reactions

Twitter is the perfect social platform for near-instantaneous opinions and jokes, and this news is no exception. There were plenty of comments about how even the founder of Twitter is leaving it, and how Dorsey has joined the Great Resignation (though far fewer people see their company stock rise by 10% when they leave).

Others critiqued some aspects of Dorsey's email — like his opening claim that a company being “founder-led” is “severely limiting and a single point of failure.” Wonder what his coworkers at the Dorsey-founded-and-led Square think of that opinion.

Another interesting point is that Agrawal's move to Twitter CEO has further centered the US's biggest tech companies on the shoulders of CEOs who have immigrated from other countries, with India standing as the most notable example.

It's a reminder of the importance of immigration — at a time when actual immigration in the US has been cut in half within the last half decade.

Still others are discussing what it means to move Twitter's long-time CTO into the CEO position. The speculation here is often particularly thin, to be fair, with some arguing that the automated and frequently inaccurate “Trends” feature indicates Agrawal won't do well. He likely won't add an edit button either (although I'd call that a win, since we don't need a way to make misinformation easier).

One underrated angle here? Dorsey's decision to hint that founder-led companies are bad and at the mercy of the founder's ego. The tech industry on the whole has been susceptible to hero-worship that keeps founders around longer than their actual impact might have otherwise kept them going.

Twitter has now followed Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft out of the founder-led era, and that leaves one big tech giant standing a little more conspicuously. Mark Zuckerberg's role in Meta might be facing even more scrutiny in the near future.

Get to know Twitter better than Dorsey with the top social media management software

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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and he has an art history book on 1970s sci-fi coming out from Abrams Books in 2022. In the meantime, he's hunting own the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.

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