Twitter CEO and cofounder Jack Dorsey has stepped down as the chief executive, the social media platform announced Monday morning, with Dorsey saying he decided to leave because Twitter is “ready to move on from its founders.”
CNBC first reported Dorsey’s resignation, and Twitter stock skyrocketed as much as 12.5% in pre-market trading immediately after the report, paring losses of nearly 14% this year.
“There’s a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘founder-led.’ Ultimately I believe that’s severely limiting and a signal point of failure,” Dorsey said in an apparent e-mail to Twitter staff that he later posted on the platform. “There aren’t many founders who choose their company over their own ego.”
Dorsey has experienced substantial turbulence over the past few years at the company he co-founded. Last year, Twitter stakeholder Elliott Management attempted to oust him from the executive suite over the platform’s slow growth. Dorsey has also faced backlash over his hesitancy to censor users, especially controversial public figures like former President Donald Trump. Twitter took steps to manage the spread of misinformation on the platform last year —particularly regarding the presidential election and the coronavirus pandemic — and early this year permanently banned Trump from Twitter. Dorsey joined other tech CEOs in testifying during a congressional hearing in March over social media platforms’ roles in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in Washington, D.C.
$11.8 billion. That’s how much Dorsey is worth, according to a Forbes estimate.
Dorsey cofounded Twitter with Ev Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass in 2006, and served as CEO of the fledgling social media company until 2008 before leaving, only to return for a second stint as chief executive in 2015. He is also the CEO of Square, the digital financial payment company he founded in 2009. Hailed as a tech guru, Dorsey is known for leading a more eccentric lifestyle than his Silicon Valley peers, saying he takes daily ice baths, eats only one meal a day and fasts on weekends. Before working in tech, he trained as a masseuse.