It’s the end of an era at Twitter.
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is officially no longer part of the board of directors of the social media giant he founded 16 years ago. The expected move came as the shareholders met and the plan had already been scheduled since Dorsey stepped down as CEO last year, NBC News reported.
Dorsey’s exit is ahead of the $44 billion acquisition by Tesla owner Elon Musk, who is currently the world’s richest man.
“While this particular change doesn’t come as a surprise, Twitter is still entering an unknown phase without the at times enigmatic leader who steered it as CEO during two different periods, shaped its policies during the political chaos of the Trump administration and ultimately signed off on Musk’s bid to take to the company private,” TechCrunch reported.
“At Wednesday’s shareholder meeting, Twitter’s board voted to oust board member and Musk ally Egon Durban, CEO of private equity firm Silver Lake — just the latest twist in a corporate takeover that’s been as chaotic and unpredictable as the man who launched it to begin with,” the outlet noted.
Musk reacted on Twitter, lamenting the news and saying he wished Dorsey “would stay on” the board.
Jack off the board!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 26, 2022
I’m a fan of Jack btw. Wish he would stay on the board, but I understand that he needs to move on.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 26, 2022
With Dorsey’s exit, “all of Twitter’s founders have now severed official ties with the company,” NBC News noted.
Back in April, Dorsey had raised eyebrows when he expressed his support of Musk’s offer to buy Twitter.
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.
— jack (@jack) April 26, 2022
But Dorsey’s exit also comes amid accusations of “backstabbing” by a former colleague upset about the way the Musk acquisition played out.
Ahead of the annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, a former vice president of Product and one of Twitter’s founding members alleged that it was Dorsey who encouraged Musk to make the offer to buy the company while the discussion was only about his becoming a board member.
Jason Goldman told Bloomberg News that CEO Parag Agrawal and the company’s chairman, Bret Taylor, “struck a deal with Musk to bring him on as a director in exchange for his agreeing not to buy up more shares,” the New York Post reported.
According to an SEC filing, Dorsey “shared his personal view that Twitter would be able to better focus on execution as a private company.”
“That to me is just a clear backstabbing of the board by the founder when they had a deal in hand to come to a standstill,” Goldman said.
(Video: Bloomberg Technology)
Musk confirmed that his purchase of Twitter was still subject to shareholder approval, but would likely close well before a set October deadline.
“It is not a done deal,’ Musk said of the acquisition. “The best-case scenario is that it would perhaps be done in two or three months.”
In early May, Dorsey said he agreed with Musk’s choice to reverse the ban on Donald Trump, who had his account permanently deleted after the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol building protest by voters who supported the former U.S. President during the 2020 election.
The ban was handed down on January 8, 2021. Trump’s final Tweet said: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
“I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” Musk said at a recent conference.
Although at the time, Dorsey claimed he supported Trump’s ban, he has said in the past he generally opposes bans on user accounts.
“I believe this was the right decision for Twitter,” Dorsey said. “We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.”
Musk said he would offer Trump an account reinstatement.
“I would reverse the perma-ban [of Trump],” he said. “Obviously, I don’t own Twitter yet, so this is not something that will definitely happen. In my opinion, and I want to be clear that Jack Dorsey shares this opinion, is that we should not have perma-bans.”
Despite Musk and Dorsey’s support, Trump has said that he had no intention of rejoining Twitter even if his old account — which had over 60 million followers — was reinstated.
Mostly, this is because Trump launched his own social media company, called Truth Social, in February 2022.
“I am not going on Twitter. I am going to stay on Truth,” Trump said to the network, although he does support the Musk acquisition of the company.
“I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it, and he is a good man,” Trump said. “But, I am going to be staying on Truth.”
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