Jack Dorsey says Elon Musk is the only person fit to lead Twitter. Here are four possible reasons why.
Elon Musk is taking over Twitter, and former CEO Jack Dorsey thinks he’s the right man for the job.
Shortly after the social media company announced it would accept a $44 billion offer from the world’s richest man on Monday, Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO last November for the second time, said in a series of tweets that he trusts Musk to run the company.
“Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness,” Dorsey wrote.
Dorsey and Musk have known each other for years, and there are a few reasons that Dorsey might be throwing his support behind the Tesla CEO.
Dorsey, who now leads payments company Block, said in his Monday Twitter thread that he supports Musk’s plan to take Twitter private because it is currently “owned by Wall Street.”
“Taking it back from Wall Street is the correct first step,” he wrote in a tweet.
Musk said in a letter announcing his offer to buy the company that Twitter needs to go private to “to go through the changes that need to be made.”
Dorsey has also previously hinted at his support to take the company private.
On April 15, the day after Musk made his first public offer to buy twitter, and the day that Twitter’s board adopted the “poison pill” defense, Dorsey wrote in a tweet that, “as a public company, twitter has always been ‘for sale.’ that’s the real issue.”
Dorsey owns 2.36% of Twitter’s outstanding shares both directly and through trusts, according to the company’s most recent proxy statement. Musk’s agreed upon proposed purchase price of $54.20 per share would net the former Twitter CEO about $978 million.
Frustration with Twitter’s board
Dorsey and Musk have both expressed their frustration with Twitter’s board of directors as well.
In a tweet on April 16, just after the board adopted the “poison pill” defense to make it harder for Musk to take over the company, Dorsey wrote in a twitter reply that the board has “consistently been the dysfunction of the company.”
When he was Twitter CEO, Dorsey faced a direct threat from Elliott Management, an activist hedge fund with a seat on the board, that campaigned for changes at the company after buying $1 billion of Twitter stock in 2020.
One of the hedge fund’s main changes was pushing Dorsey out of the CEO role, in part because he was splitting his time as CEO of Twitter and his payments company Square (now Block), according to CNBC. Although Dorsey survived a possible ouster and Elliott’s activist investor Jesse Cohn stepped down from the board last year, it was a conflict between Dorsey and Twitter’s board of directors.
Elon Musk has also taken shots at Twitter’s board, saying that their “economic interests were simply not in line with shareholders.” In a tweet on April 18, Musk said the board would be paid nothing if his bid succeeded, which he claimed would save the company about $3 million per year.
Musk and Dorsey have been friendly with each other over many years.
At the 2016 Dmexco digital marketing trade show in Cologne, Germany, Dorsey praised the Tesla CEO as a model for how Twitter should be used.
“He’s constantly on Twitter, constantly talking about what they are doing — and how he’s feeling about it as well,” Dorsey said at the time, according to Business Insider. “He’s very open and using it to correct press and if people aren’t focused on the right things. I think he’s a really good model of how to use it well.”
In a tweet to New York Times reporter Kara Swisher in 2019, Dorsey, reiterated his praise for Musk’s twitter musings, saying Musk was “focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly.”
Musk has also praised Dorsey in return. Musk wrote in a 2020 tweet that Dorsey has a good heart. And last week, he complimented Dorsey’s new official title at Block— “Block Head.”
A history of asking for advice
In 2020, when he was still CEO of Twitter, Dorsey invited Musk to speak to a group of employees, and personally asked the billionaire for advice on how the platform should operate.
At the event, Musk laid out some of what he has said in the weeks leading up to striking a deal with Twitter, including that Twitter should do more to authenticate users and make sure that they are real people.
It is yet to be seen what changes Musk will make to the social media platform, but he has said in a statement announcing the acquisition on Monday that he wants to make the algorithms open source, get rid of spam bots, and authenticate the people who use the site.
Before the Twitter co-founder asked for Musk’s advice at the Twitter company event in 2020, he jokingly asked Musk: “By the way, do you want to run Twitter?”
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