Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board

As shareholders sue the social network amid Elon Musk's takeover scramble

Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

Speaking of Twitter... A Florida police pension fund has filed a shareholder lawsuit against Elon Musk and Twitter in Delaware to hold off the SpaceX supremo's proposed takeover of the social network until at least 2025, as it's unhappy with how the proposed deal is playing out.

Twitter shareholders are also suing Musk in northern California, claiming the billionaire is unfairly driving down the biz's stock price to either abandon the purchase or significantly alter its terms.

Reasoning aside, Dorsey's complete departure is conveniently timed, as Tesla CEO – and reported friend of Jack – Elon Musk is heading up a proposed deal to purchase the platform and take it private. Dorsey has expressed support for Musk's planned takeover, and in an SEC document filed in early May, Musk mentioned Dorsey by name as someone he was in talks with to add equity to the agreement. 

Musk's Tesla stock margin loans recently lapsed, leaving him with significant funding to make up to secure the deal, if he isn't thinking of walking away entirely. At a meeting yesterday, shareholders voted to boot pro-Musk Egon Durban from Twitter's board; he has been on the panel since 2020.

That ouster may not be related to his relationship with Musk nor a connection to the takeover bid, though: other major Twitter investors reportedly expressed concern Durban sat on too many corporate boards. A Twitter spokesperson told The Financial Times the vote to remove Durban was non-binding, though Durban did submit a resignation letter that a governance committee will decide whether to accept. 

When asked if Twitter had anything to add about Dorsey's departure from the board, the company declined. "As we shared back in November, Jack would be leaving the board when 'his term expires at the 2022 meeting of stockholders.' This was also detailed in our proxy filed on April 12," the spokesperson said.

Along with not having anything to add on Dorsey's departure, Twitter also told us it had nothing to say about "our pending acquisition." ®

Narrower topics

Other stories you might like

  • Musk repeats threat to end $46.5bn Twitter deal – with lawyers, not just tweets
    Right as Texas AG sticks his oar in

    Elon Musk is prepared to terminate his takeover of Twitter, reiterating his claim that the social media biz is covering up the number of spam and fake bot accounts on the site, lawyers representing the Tesla CEO said on Monday.

    Musk offered to acquire Twitter for $54.20 per share in an all-cash deal worth over $44 billion in April. Twitter's board members resisted his attempt to take the company private but eventually accepted the deal. Musk then sold $8.4 billion worth of his Tesla shares, secured another $7.14 billion from investors to try and collect the $21 billion he promised to front himself. Tesla's stock price has been falling since this saga began while Twitter shares gained and then tailed downward.

    Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others promised to loan the remaining $25.5 billion from via debt financing. The takeover appeared imminent as rumors swirled over how Musk wanted to make Twitter profitable and take it public again in a future IPO. But the tech billionaire got cold feet and started backing away from the deal last month, claiming it couldn't go forward unless Twitter proved fake accounts make up less than five per cent of all users – a stat Twitter claimed and Musk believes is higher.

    Continue reading
  • Elon Musk’s brother buys Intel’s fireworks-replacing drone biz
    Yet another sign x86 giant has moved past Krzanich era to focus on core chip businesses

    As Intel tries to enact an ambitious comeback plan, the semiconductor giant has been offloading some divisions that aren't key to its core chipmaking business. The latest to get shunted off is the company's PR-friendly drone-powered light-show business, and the buyer is… Elon Musk's brother.

    Yes, that's right: Kimbal Musk has acquired Intel Drone Light Shows through his new company Nova Sky Stories, which he formed after apparently being brought to tears by the sight of light drones forming the titular "man" of the annual Burning Man festival in 2021.

    While Musk doesn't mention Intel by name in a June announcement of Nova Sky Stories, the website for Intel's drone light-show business says it has been bought by K. Musk's company.

    Continue reading
  • Totaled Tesla goes up in flames three weeks after crash
    A pit and 4,500 gallons of water were needed to put it out

    A totaled Tesla Model S burst into flames in a Sacramento junkyard earlier this month, causing a fire that took "a significant amount of time, water, and thinking outside the box to extinguish," firefighters said. 

    The vehicle was involved in a comparably unexplosive accident that sent it to the junkyard three weeks ago – it's unclear what caused the Tesla to explode nearly a month after being taken off the road. Like other electric vehicle fires, it was very difficult to extinguish.

    "Crews knocked the fire down, but the car kept re-igniting and off-gassing in the battery compartment," the department said on Instagram. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022