Twitter Jack Retreats-The Verge

One day in 2011, Jack Dorsey called for an all-participation meeting on Twitter. The company is in the process of redesigning Twitter’s mobile app, and that effort has led to anger and burnout. Dorsey, who co-founded the company with Ev Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass in 2006, has since served as chairman.

The company was prepared to assume that it was a scolding encouragement from the most eccentric Twitter co-founders. And they got some sort of thing. When the meeting started, the lights at Twitter headquarters dimmed. The acoustic guitar started playing on the speakers. Dorsey encouraged everyone to listen to the lyrics.

Blackbird singing in the middle of the night

Remember to get rid of these torn wings and fly again

All your life

You just waited for this moment to happen

Sitting in the dark, no one was completely convinced of what Dorsey had found in The Beatles’ “Blackbird.” Ten years later, the people I talked about the incident were not yet completely convinced. Dorsey has been a mystery since the early days of the company. On the one hand, he was a visionary leader with a mysterious understanding of what the future might look like. Slow decision-making, on the other hand, has been a distant, often mysterious manager who has confused the company for almost five years.

The song is over. After that, people argued what that meant, but it had no real purpose. The company has finished the sprint. Jack Dorsey returned to the company as CEO a few years later.This Monday he Announced that he will quit..

Almost no one expected this moment to come today. It’s the day Twitter told employees to consider it a “rest day.”

Will Elliott win in the end?

The two questions I would like to ask when the CEO resigns are: Why now? And what’s next?

Let’s start with the first one.

On the one hand, this is a real surprise. According to many indicators, this year was the flag year for Twitter. Earnings are rising, And the user base as well. It probably shipped more individual products than any other time in its history. (Especially it is Clone clubhouse Leaves the once noisy social audio platform at impressive speeds dying.. After spending half a year trapped in the mud, I felt that Twitter had finally gained real momentum. From that perspective, Dorsey’s position at the company seemed safe.

However, Twitter is listed and its slow growth (especially compared to the giant Facebook) has long ranked investors.

Last spring, activist investor Elliott Management Corporation announced its intention to acquire a 4% stake in the company and replace Dorsey as CEO. Little known to the public, Elliott, a hedge fund managed by Paul Singer of Billionaire, is among them. The most feared investor in the world..When the news hit, I wrote here That Jack Dorsey was for the battle of his life.. After all, he was.

The strange part is that Dorsey seemed to win. A few days after Elliott started moving Twitter surrenders, Agree to add three new board members and form a committee to review their governance and evaluate succession plans. Elliott’s partner Jesse Cohn has joined Twitter’s board of directors, Resigned in June I thought it was a sign that the company was happy with the progress of Twitter.

The catch was that Elliott set some aggressive growth goals for Dorsey. Under the agreement, Twitter needed to expand its user base by at least 20% in 2020, accelerate revenue growth, and gain market share as a digital advertiser. We’ve made some progress, but we’re not close to achieving our updated goals. (society Want to add 100 million active users per day next yearFor example, increase your user base by a third. This is a common name for a 15-year-old company and is a big order that has already stirred much of the world’s population. )

Shares have fallen throughout the fall, today just a few dollars higher than when the company went public. Meanwhile, Elliott’s partner in the original plan to expel Dorsey, a private equity firm, Silver Lake, retains Twitter’s board seats.

There were no apparent signs of misery on the board. But with these facts, it’s easy to imagine two scenarios. One is a scenario where Dorsey sees a resurrected battle coming and decides to leave before it happens. Another thing the board told him his time was over and he bowed gracefully.

I’m not sure which of these two scenarios is more likely. But I think it was probably one of them that led to today’s news. (Perhaps the fact that the news leaked early from the board itself suggests to me that some may be worried that Dorsey may have changed his mind before he did it.)

“”This is my decision and I own it“Mr. Dorsey said in an email to employees. “I’m really sad … but I’m really happy. Not many companies reach this level, and not many founders choose their company over their ego. Prove that this was the right move. intend to.”

Elliott, as part of that, congratulated the decision.

“Because I knew both the next chairman, Bret Taylor, and the next CEO, Parag Agrawal, I’m confident they’re the right leaders on Twitter at this crucial moment for the company,” said Korn. Senior Portfolio Manager Marc Steinberg said in a statement.

Explanation of “natural”

Another explanation for Jack Dorsey leaving Twitter may or may not be related to Elliott Management Corporation, but there is a relatively lack of evidence that Jack Dorsey wanted. is. Get used to Twitter CEO. At the very least, he may have awakened one morning recently and decided to leave.

The story of not wanting to be the CEO is: Dorsey is said to have been ambiguous about the company’s decision to build Fleets, a short-lived product that mimics Snapchat Stories. But he just got the team to launch it at the end of last year. After a while, during a full-time meeting, someone asked what they thought about the product. He basically shrugged, one told me. “That’s not me” — that was the point.

Immediately after Dorsey’s Q & A section, the fleet team announced progress.

On Twitter I decided to kill the fleet this year, Dorsey — Maybe you’ve never posted a public fleet — I sent it with a tweeted emoji waving Some took it internally to show “good ridiculous things”.

There are many stories about Dorsey like this. In areas where he was most focused, the product team could expect a lot of time, attention, and valuable feedback. In areas where he wasn’t focused, the team couldn’t expect much or no feedback. He set the vision and let his agent handle the rest. There were pros and cons to this, but it caught a lot of people, especially when the team was split on the path of progress and he refused to break the tie.

It’s an advantage to have a CEO who cares about just a few things and pushes them relentlessly. For example, in Square, Dorsey urged executives to focus on peer-to-peer payments for future finance and Cash App for cryptocurrencies. As a result, Square has prospered and its market capitalization has almost tripled that of Twitter.

However, Twitter under Dorsey suffers from a comparable lack of focus. Its top priorities are alternating between user growth, revenue growth, conversational “health”, “providing public conversations”, and other abstractions. People who worked directly with him would tell me they didn’t know when asked how much Dorsey was recently involved in the core product.

There was a joke about Dorsey, everyone on Twitter thought he was working more on Square, and everyone on Square thought he was working more on Twitter. This helped get rid of the question of how well he worked.One of the reasons Elliott seems to have launched an attack is that he (before the pandemic) Aiming to spend most of 2020 in AfricaThere is no obvious purpose of work or shareholder interests.

Dorsey knew that she was perceived as distant and indecisive. He told his employees that he was too late to make a decision. But people believed in him when he said in a line that might have predicted what happened today, as he did on Saturday.I love twitter.. He was undeniably charismatic and was the kind of person who could get his employees to drink. Salt soup.. It is a complicated figure, but a person who leaves nothingness.

New man

In that gap Step Paraguagrawar, A 10-year Twitter veteran who has risen to rank as an engineer and has become Chief Technology Officer. Several people have said that the “CTO” does not fully capture the breadth of Agrawar’s contributions. Internally, he is recognized by many employees as a keen technical leader. Rarely a long-term thinker. And I concentrated on the management side of the company.

One told me that Agrawal is one of the few people in the company who can make Dorsey change his mind on a regular basis.

Given his long tenure as an engineer, Agrawal is highly respected on Twitter’s technical side and has personal relationships with many of its top personal contributors. This can help the company maintain its engineering core in the event of organizational changes that often lead to escape from the company.

Agrawar also has his critics. The main complaint is that he was too close to Dorsey. And if you’re among the Twitter employees who think Dorsey was responsible for the company, Agrawar’s appointment may not seem like the clean break you wanted.

In any case, Agrawal has the potential to surface other cultural tensions within the company. He was one of the most focused executives on cryptocurrencies and encouraged Dorsey to allow Twitter to explore decentralization and other related technologies. The company has so far announced Bluesky. May turn Twitter into a decentralized protocol; Bitcoin-based tipsAnd (maybe finally) NFT profile picture..

Given Dorsey Religious dedication to BitcoinIt makes sense that he wants to give the reins to fellow believers. But given how crypto culture is generally polarized, we need to keep an eye on how many Twitter employees are coming in and what’s lost as a result. Of course, it depends in part on how hard Agrawar is leaning. But the early sign is that it’s a high priority for him.

Of course, he also needs to work on Elliott’s wishlist. Increase the number of users, revenue, and share in the advertising market. And he needs to navigate other irrelevant transitions in the company. Kelly Sims, head of communications, left Twitter last week after joining the company for less than four months. This is a very difficult role to play. Sarah Bakepool, who joined the company in 2012 and recently leads Twitter Blue subscription products, recently announced that she will also leave the company.

In particular, she is married Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter Product Manager, Who is likely to be on the CEO’s candidate list. Given that he is already one of the longest-serving product managers in the company, I would like to know how long he will stay in the company.

In the meantime, Twitter has something that hasn’t been there since 2015. It’s a full-time CEO. Time tells us how Agrawar pays the fare in that role. But by that means alone, he is already an improvement over his predecessor.

Note: This article is based on conversations (some very long and some very short) with 13 current and former Twitter employees who requested anonymity to maintain a professional relationship. .. Twitter Jack Retreats-The Verge

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