Activist company

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey will remain invested in the company under Elon Musk


New York
CNN Business

Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey has resigned from the company’s board earlier this year, but he remains involved with the social platform following its takeover by Elon Musk.

Dorsey transferred his more than 18 million shares of Twitter (a stake of about 2.4%) into the new company owned by Musk as an equity investor, rather than receiving a cash payment, according to a filing of securities Thursday.

The transfer means Dorsey actually contributed just under $1 billion to Musk’s $44 billion Twitter buyout. It also makes him one of the biggest investors in the new company, behind Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and the Qatar Investment Authority.

Dorsey’s decision makes him one of the few players on Musk’s Twitter with ties to the previous leadership. Almost immediately after taking over the business, Musk has dissolved Twitter’s board. Much of the company’s C-suite has also been laid off or resigned in recent days.

Dorsey and Musk have long had a billionaire bromance. In 2020, Dorsey called Musk at an employee conference and asked for his thoughts on improving Twitter. Later that year, Musk defended Dorsey as he faced pressure from an activist investor, saying on Twitter, “I support @Jack as CEO of Twitter. He has a good ❤️.

After Telsa’s CEO initially agreed to buy Twitter in April, Dorsey tweeted that he doesn’t “believe anyone should own or run Twitter”, explaining that he thinks it should be a public good. “Solving the problem of being a business, however, Elon is the singular solution that I trust,” he added.

Dorsey stepped down as CEO of Twitter last November and left its board in May. He publicly criticized the company’s former board and also privately questioned the company’s future.

In text messages with Musk in March, after the world’s richest man had built up a significant stake in Twitter, but before announcing it publicly, Dorsey said, “a new platform is needed. It can’t be a business. That’s why I left.” Musk responded by asking what the platform should look like. Dorsey explained that it should be an “open source protocol” and not an “advertising model”. , as Twitter currently does.

Dorsey added that Twitter “should never have been a business”, saying “it was original sin”, according to the text messages, which were revealed in court filings last month.

“I think it’s worth trying to both move Twitter in a better direction and do something new that’s decentralized,” Musk told Dorsey.

Dorsey launched a beta test of a new decentralized social media app called Bluesky earlier this month that could eventually compete with Twitter. As of October 20, the app had a waiting list of over 30,000 people, it said on Twitter.

In April, after Musk agreed to buy the company, Dorsey pledged his support for the takeover. “I appreciate you. It’s the right and the only way. I will continue to do whatever it takes to make it work,” the Twitter founder told Musk.

Dorsey has not publicly commented on Musk’s takeover since the deal was struck last week.