Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey steps down from company's board

Social media platform's co-founder left the role of chief executive in November last year

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and former chief executive. AFP
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Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and former chief executive, stepped down from the company’s board of directors on Wednesday.

Mr Dorsey, who founded the company in March 2006, left the chief executive position in November last year to focus on Block — formerly known as Square — a California-based financial services and digital payments company.

The San Francisco-based microblogging site had its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, marking what could be the company’s last big meeting as a publicly traded company.

Last month, Twitter entered a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by billionaire businessman Elon Musk, for $54.20 a share in cash for a total of $44 billion.

The plan for Mr Dorsey to leave the board was indicated when he stepped down as the chief executive last year.

At the time, Twitter said that Mr Dorsey would stay on the board “until his term expires at the 2022 meeting of stockholders”.

Twitter shares jumped 4 per cent to $37.21 at 11pm UAE time on Wednesday, with its market valuation at $28.44bn.

Eighteen investors have made commitments ranging from $850,000 to $1 billion to help Mr Musk finance the acquisition of Twitter, a regulatory filing made to the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Last week, in its preliminary proxy statement with the SEC, Twitter said that it is committed to completing the transaction on the “agreed price and terms as promptly as practicable”.

Mr Musk recently locked horns with Twitter's chief executive Parag Agrawal over the company's estimates of spam accounts.

In a regulatory filing, Twitter said false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5 per cent of its monetisable daily active users during the first quarter.

The Tesla chief executive tweeted last week that the “deal cannot move forward” unless Twitter provides proof that fewer than 5 per cent of its users are fake.

Twitter did not discuss the transaction in the shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday.

In his remarks, Mr Agrawal said Twitter “cannot discuss the transaction today”.

On Twitter last month, Mr Dorsey expressed support for Mr Musk’s acquisition bid.

“In principle, I don’t believe anyone should own or run Twitter. It wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company. Solving for the problem of it being a company however, Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness,” he said.

“Elon’s goal of creating a platform that is 'maximally trusted and broadly inclusive' is the right one. This is also @paraga’s goal, and why I chose him. Thank you both for getting the company out of an impossible situation. This is the right path … I believe it with all my heart.”

Mr Dorsey oversaw Twitter when it faced widespread pressure from politicians and activists to take a more proactive role in moderating hate speech, misinformation and other forms of objectionable content from political leaders.

However, in 2020, he came under pressure when one of the investors questioned how he was spending his time as the company's chief executive.

Updated: May 25, 2022, 7:26 PM