- Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey may be the most prominent Bitcoin booster in corporate America.
- His departure has triggered a flurry of speculation, including some notable tweets.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, dropped a Monday morning bombshell by announcing he was leaving the company he-founded and has led since 2015. The news produced a stir since Twitter is such a high profile company, and because no corporate executive—with the possible exception of Elon Musk—has done more to raise the profile of Bitcoinand crypto.
In a letter explaining his departure, Dorsey cited his confidence that other Twitter executives can successfully run the company on their own and didn't mention crypto. But many on social media speculated that Dorsey made the move so he can devote more time to crypto and, in particular,:
Jack can say whatever he wants about why he's leaving Twitter, but all I hear is "bitcoin bitcoin bitcoin bitcoin" https://t.co/pnvBzXczDs
— David Pierce (@pierce) November 29, 2021
Some speculated that Dorsey may step up his crypto ambitions through his work at payments company Square, which he also founded and where he remains CEO. The editor of TechCrunch suggested this could be because Square—which is building a Bitcoin wallet—is better positioned than Twitter to take the lead on Web 3.
So jack definitely left to go build in web3 right? Twitter is an observer but square could be a real participant.
— Panzer (@panzer) November 29, 2021
Other observers noted that Dorsey appears to have been already been devoting more of his time and attention to Square:
Jack had been spending less than 10% of his time at Twitter, from what I've heard. So him leaving won't be a massive operational change. Still: Whoa. https://t.co/heUThZlI0e
— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) November 29, 2021
Dorsey is also CEO of digital payment startup Square, which is under less regulatory scrutiny than Twitter
— Sam Shead (@Sam_L_Shead) November 29, 2021
Jack Dorsey might be out as Twitter CEO, but he's still the crypto-loving CEO of financial tech company Square, which over the past year bought $500m in bitcoin
I'm curious if the departure of such a high-profile advocate will stanch the NFT/crypto discourse on Twitter
— Robert G. Reeve 🔜 PAXUnplugged (@RobertGReeve) November 29, 2021
As observers on Twitter have noted, it's an open question whether Dorsey's departure will lead Twitter to turn away from its recent pivot to crypto, which has included tipping with Bitcoin and plans for NFT integration. There is reason to think so based on the reaction of the market, which saw Twitter's share price soar more than 10% on today's news—an unusual reaction to a long-time CEO resigning.
The market reaction was not simply a vote on Dorsey's pro-Bitcoin stances, but rather reflected frustration with Dorsey by big investors who have long complained he lacked focus and caused Twitter to under-perform—a performance reflected in this graph:
Twitter's stock performance (blue line), compared to performance of Facebook & S&P 500, since Dorsey was named interim CEO in June 2015. pic.twitter.com/2iVL2s7IVo
— Tim Stenovec (@timsteno) November 29, 2021
Given this pressure from investors, it's possible that the incoming CEO, Parag Agrawal, may lead Twitter to prune its crypto efforts or even turn away from them altogether. But not everyone thinks this is the case given how Agarwal served as CTO of the company, and has led one of its flagship crypto projects known as Bluesky.
New Twitter CEO is the current CTO @paraga
— Kurt Wagner (@KurtWagner8) November 29, 2021
Finally, some called attention to comments in Dorsey's departure letter that he believed it to be critical for Twitter to break away from "its founding and founders" and for a company to "stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction."
Such sentiments are consistent with the decentralization ethos ofthough, as observers noted, it's hard to discern what exactly this will mean for Twitter, Square and Dorsey himself.
Dorsey pushes back hard against the cult of "founder-led" in his resignation letter. Suggests it's often about ego.
Hmmmm... wonder what that means for another founder-led company... the payments one that the founder actually controls.
— Dan Primack (@danprimack) November 29, 2021
I think there's an interesting thread connecting @jack's growing interest in crypto and decentralizing social media, and his announcement that he doesn't want Twitter to be founder-led.
— o...k (@kateconger) November 29, 2021
The bottom line is that it's too early to tell what Dorsey's leaving will mean for Twitter or the broader crypto industry—though it's a safe bet he's far from done with Bitcoin.