Monday morning, 15 years after co-founding the company, Jack Dorsey announced that it had relinquished the position of chief executive officer of Twitter. Leave the role with an esteemed fortune 11.8 billion dollars, that is almost ten times more than not even a decade ago. The credit, however, does not lie with Twitter.
The vast majority of Dorsey’s fortune – around 88% – is tied to its close to 11% stake in Square, a fintech that allows credit card payments to small businesses and owns the CashApp mobile money transfer app. Square’s share price has more than tripled since January 2020 and is hovering around $ 213 (updated at 3pm Monday, November 29, US East Coast time). Pushing it upward were timely acquisitions and the growth of CashApp, which gained around 12 million users in 2020. Dorsey, 45, founded Square in 2009 with Jim McKelvey and immediately assumed the role of CEO. just a few years after co-founded Twitter. After being fired from Twitter CEO in 2008, he returned to office in 2015, the same year Square went public. For six years he led both companies simultaneously – a rare feat even for the work-obsessed Silicon Valley titans. (Also Elon Musk he is CEO of two companies: the Tesla electric car company and the SpaceX rocket company).
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Jack Dorsey paid off financially for his hard work. He became a billionaire and entered the ranking Forbes of the 400 richest Americans in the fall of 2012, when thanks to his share of Twitter – at the time not yet listed – he was attributed a fortune of 1.1 billion dollars. His fortune grew to $ 6.3 billion in October 2018, before plummeting to $ 2.6 billion in April 2020, when the pandemic hit the stock market for a short time. The cascade of cash came during the subsequent market recovery: between April 2020 and November 2021, Dorsey increased its assets by more than $ 9 billion, to a peak of $ 14.9 billion in October.
Dorsey still owns a small slice of Twitter, valued at around $ 850 million. His fortune grew by $ 59 million after Monday’s announcement – earnings from Square’s stock growth offset Twitter’s 2.3% decline. Twitter critics pointed out that the company failed to grow under Dorsey’s leadership. When the company went public in 2013, it had approximately 100 million daily active users. In the last quarter, Twitter reported 211 million ‘monetizable’ daily users – a much lower figure than Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
The company reported a net loss of 537 million in the third quarter, against a profit of 29 million in the same period of 2020. Critics also denounced the role of Twitter in spreading disinformation on the net, and to all this was added the controversy over the decision to ban the then president from the platform of the United States, Donald Trump, following the January 6 Capitol uprising. In March, federal lawmakers questioned Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Sundar Pichai on topics ranging from vaccine misinformation to screen time children spend.
“If he really turns away from Twitter this time, Jack Dorsey will leave a dark and dark legacy: a platform that is useful and powerful for quick communication, but that has also been exploited by a number of negative figures,” said Paul Barrett. Deputy Director of New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.
Dorsey dropped out of college twice, is a licensed massage therapist, and was an amateur stylist before turning to tech. And he chose a unique approach to philanthropy. In April 2020, he pledged to give away nearly a third of his share of Square (which was worth about $ 1 billion at the time) in a short time through a fund. donor-advised established to alleviate the consequences of Covid-19, to protect the health and education of girls and to commit to a universal basic income. A year and a half later, the entrepreneur is almost halfway to the one billion goal, according to a public Google Doc that Dorsey created to track his efforts. But as the shares in Square that he had pledged to charity have grown in value since the promise, he now has about 3.2 billion dollars to distribute.
Dorsey will remain Square’s chief executive officer and will remain on Twitter’s board of directors until his term expires, set for May 2022.
“There is a lot of talk about how important it is for a company to be led by its founders. Ultimately, I believe it is a highly limiting factor and a signal of failure ”, wrote Jack Dorsey in an email sent to the Twitter staff, which was also posted on the platform. “There aren’t many founders who put their company before their egos.”