Twitter Board Backs CEO Jack Dorsey

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Kiss of death? Twitter’s board of directors has expressed its support for unconventional CEO Jack Dorsey, who also runs another company

Twitter’s board of directors have expressed their support for CEO Jack Dorsey, and recommended that the current unconventional management structure remains in place.

The board’s backing was made in a regulatory filing, Reuters reported. The board reportedly said it had confidence in the social media company’s “current structure”.

It comes after Dorsey was subjected to hostile questioning by Republican senators last month in a Senate hearing in which Dorsey and other tech CEOs defended a law (Section 230) that exempts social networking firms from liability for user content.

Jack_Dorsey
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey

Dorsey questioning

Dorsey in particular was subjected to a fiery encounter with republican Senator Ted Cruz, that saw him demanding “who the hell elected you?” of Dorsey.

Senator Cruz also demanded to know why Dorsey was “put charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear.”

“And why do you persist in behaving as a Democratic super PAC suppressing views contrary to your political beliefs?” demanded Cruz.

Dorsey to his credit provided a measured response in which he denied being in charge of what the American people can hear, but at the same time he admitted the platform had to “earn trust more”.

Board backing

Days after emerging unscathed by Senator Cruz’s grandstanding, Dorsey gained the backing of Twitter’s board of directors.

“The committee expressed its confidence in management and recommended that the current structure remain in place,” the board said in a regulatory filing.

The board reportedly cited Twitter’s “significantly improving product” and financial performance in the third quarter when revenue grew 14 percent year-over-year to $936 million.

The board’s backing is noteworthy considering what Dorsey went through earlier this year.

In March this year he survived attempts by activist shareholder group Elliott Management to remove him from office.

Africa desire

Elliott Management had attempted the move because of Twitter’s unusual management approach.

Dorsey, it should be remembered, is also chief executive of Square, an online payment company.

It is reported that Dorsey spends his mornings at Twitter and afternoons at Square (Twitter and Square’s San Francisco offices are located across the street from each other).

This unorthodox approach was not appreciated by Elliott Management, and matters were not helped when Dorsey in November 2019 said he planned to live and work in Africa for part (up to half) of each year.

Dorsey made the commitment after finishing a tour of Africa.

However Dorsey in March said he would “reevaluate those plans”.

Dorsey had co-founded Twitter in 2006, but he had left the micro-blogging platform in 2008 (amid complaints he was too focused on other activities such as Yoga) to set up mobile payments firm Square.

Williams and Dorsey

However Dorsey returned to the Twitter fold in 2011 when Dick Costolo took over.

In 2015 Dorsey was reappointed as CEO of the company he co-founded, when former CEO Costolo stood down in July 2015.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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