Jack Dorsey: Hair today…


I’ve been following Jack Dorsey’s recent career moves with the rapt, but fleeting, attention one might pay to an escaped helium balloon.

I’ve read some of the coverage, including here on Pando, suggesting that Dorsey’s decision to split his time between Twitter and Square could harm both companies. And of course, like you, I’m far beyond sighing point at the comparisons being drawn between Dorsey and Steve Jobs. By now the only person not tired of those comparisons is Dorsey himself — even Jobs has stopped spinning in his grave.

Here’s what I haven’t read, or heard: A single person at Square bemoaning Dorsey’s half-departure from his job there. When Jobs announced, due to declining health, that he’d have to reduce his role at Apple, the streets were filled with weeping, tooth-gnashing Apple employees. “How can we go on with Steve?!” “Won’t somebody please think of the children!” Certainly, had Apple been planning an IPO at the time of the announcement, those plans would likely be scrapped or certainly delayed.

At Square: Silence. No weeping or wailing and certainly no signs that the company is changing any of its plans to reflect the fact that their boss’ attentions are occupied elsewhere. Quite the opposite, in fact. This past week, Square filed its S-1, ahead of an IPO. The prospectus contained only the briefest acknowledgment — one single sentence, buried below many, many other risk factors — that the company was lacking half a captain…

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Jack Dorsey Returns as CEO of Twitter. Will He Please Investors?


Twitter has named Jack Dorsey, one of the company’s original co-founders, as permanent CEO of the service. Dorsey has been the interim CEO of Twitter since Dick Costelo stepped down three months ago.

Dorsey is currently the CEO of Square, the online payment service, and will continue to serve in both roles. He will reportedly not be taking a salary as CEO of Twitter.

Dorsey takes the reins at Twitter in a moment of crisis for the company, with Wall Street in doubt about the service’s future as it fails to keep up with Facebook and Instagram in terms of exponential growth. According to the NY Times, in the second quarter of this year, Twitter had 316 million users, a number that has been “largely flat for some time.”

Twitter has been slow to embrace video and messaging, two features many believe to be the future of online communication. It has also struggled to find a mobile advertising scheme that works.

In one of his first moves as CEO this week, Dorsey is rumored to debut Project Lightning, a feature that would combine the powers of Twitter’s livesteaming app Periscope with news aggregation, presenting curated collections of photos, video, and tweets relevant to breaking news as it develops on the spot. It will also help advertisers who have been looking for a way to autoplay their video ads on the network.

Historically, Dorsey has had what some might describe as an on-again off-again with Twitter, a company he founded, along with Biz Stone and Evan Williams, in 2006. Originally inspired by experiences listening to police scanners as a childhood obsession, as well as his work as a taxi dispatcher, Dorsey brought microbursts of information to a whole new audience. He served as Twitter’s CEO in 2006, but was essentially forced out in 2008. He later became the CEO of Square, in 2009. His recent appointment as permanent CEO will largely revolve around the question of how Dorsey, one of Twitter’s original visionaries, will move the platform into longform publishing, competing with Facebook.

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