I guess when Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted this over the weekend, we should have known something was going on.
Dorsey’s resignation is somewhat of a surprise, given that he has seemingly struggled to maintain his position amid growing pressure from a group of investor activists who had previously demanded his removal over questions about his leadership.
Early last year, investment company Elliott Management Corp. gained more than a billion dollars in shares of Twitter in a move designed to gain more power on the Twitter board, as part of a broader attempt to remove CEO Jack Dorsey, who was thought not to have exploited the app’s potential.
Elliott’s main point of the claim was that Twitter would serve better if it had a CEO who was exclusively focused on improving the company’s performance, which has fluctuated in recent years. Dorsey, who is also the CEO of a market that provides emerging payment services, may not be able to provide the necessary focus, given his double responsibilities, and with Dorsey also, at that stage (just before the outbreak of COVID), planning to relocate to Africa , Elliott ‘s team expressed serious concern about his suitability for the role and his ability to maximize the potential of the social application.
Since then, Twitter has significantly increased its innovative momentum, launching a variety of revenue-focused tools, including Twitter Blue, Super Follows, profile tips, ticket venues, professional profiles, and the initial transition to e-commerce via tweets and shopping sections.
The increased momentum is part of Twitter’s ambitious growth plan, seemingly spurred by an Elliott management initiative, which the company announced back in February.
The plan also envisions Twitter doubling its revenue over the same period, and although it has since been aggressive in accelerating innovation and new bets, which has yielded some early results, there have been questions about its renewed momentum, with various new elements. they fail to gain appeal, and may not deliver what Twitter may have hoped for, at least initially.
This seemed to be Dorsey trying to keep the top job, and given that many of these new projects are still in the early stages, it is too early to say whether they will help the company achieve these goals. But for whatever reason, Dorsey saw enough, or the results were below expectations, or Dorsey simply felt it was time to move on to new projects.
Of which Dorsey has several. In addition to managing Square, Dorsey is also heavily involved in the crypto community as a passionate supporter of Bitcoin, and especially the potential that Bitcoin has to democratize payments and financial options in communities that do not have enough services.
Which is part of Dorsey’s interest in Africa, where crypto payments could facilitate entirely new opportunities to connect between remote regions and those with limited access to financial services. More than Western economies, crypto projects have significantly higher immediate value in these emerging markets, and perhaps, with freedom from Twitter, Dorsey will now turn their attention to these projects, with the goal of using technology in a different way.
Dorsey has in the past lamented the role Twitter has played in social discourse and the negative impacts social media has had in a broader sense.
Back in 2018, Dorsey noticed that:
“We have witnessed abuse, harassment, an army of trolls, manipulation through bots and human coordination, disinformation campaigns and echo chambers that are increasingly causing divisions. We are not proud of how people have used our service, or of our inability to solve it quickly enough. ”
It was part of the announcement of a new project to assess the health of online conversations, but it is clear that such elements have burdened Dorsey for some time, and as one of the founders of modern social media, perhaps simply Dorsey now wants to spend his time on alternative uses of technology. with a more useful and connecting focus.
He was certainly open in his praise for the potential of Bitcoin, and crypto beyond:
Perhaps this is simply a logical shift for his personal ambitions, not a reflection of Twitter’s performance – although you would assume that pressure from these investors played a role in Dorsey’s decision to withdraw completely.
So what’s next for Twitter?
The new CEO Agrawal, who has been on Twitter for more than 10 years, after starting as a software engineer, will now have the opportunity to mark his own stamp and potentially turn Twitter in a new direction. Dorsey notes that Agrawal has been involved in all major platform decisions lately, so you wouldn’t expect a significant change of direction, but even so, Agrawal will come up with a different mindset and focus, which could lead Twitter to abandon some projects and double others, in accordance with their pre-determined goals.
But it’s the end of an era for the platform. @Jack, who tweeted the first tweet of his life, will remain on the Twitter board until the start of the new year, and then will leave, meaning all four Twitter co-founders will leave the company (Biz Stone remains an informal advisor).
This is significant, in many ways, and it will be interesting to see how it affects the future of the platform.
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