Article: Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was CEO of two companies – here's why it was a bad idea

Leadership

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was CEO of two companies – here's why it was a bad idea

The departure of Twitter's top boss reveals leadership challenges that everyone can learn from.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was CEO of two companies – here's why it was a bad idea

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has stepped down from his post as chief executive, effective immediately, as the microblogging site faces intense pressure from investors to monetise the platform further. 

Dorsey, who served as CEO of both Twitter and the digital payment firm Square, named Parag Agrawal – Twitter's chief technology officer – as his successor.

But the reshuffle represents more than just a change in who's at the top – it also sheds light on the importance of focus when it comes to building high-impact organisations.

READ MORE: Twitter CEO steps down

"I've decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders," Dorsey said in a statement on Monday. "My trust in Parag as Twitter's CEO is deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I'm deeply grateful for his skill, heart and soul. It's his time to lead."

Lack of focus?

Prior to his departure, Dorsey faced an ouster attempt from investors who urged him to focus only on one venture. Dorsey and the team at Twitter had been under pressure from shareholders who wanted to see the company monetise the activity of at least 315 million daily active users on the platform.

While Twitter has remained popular among netizens, the company lagged behind other social media networks, like Snap Inc. and Meta's Facebook and Instagram, in capitalising on their audience. 

Dorsey's seeming lack of focus prompted billionaire and Twitter investor Paul Singer to question the former CEO's ability to lead both Twitter and Square, CNBC reported last year.

Today, his successor Agrawal is expected to tackle not only the challenge of growing Twitter's user base but also that of improving the company's leadership culture.

For Mandeep Singh, analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, the growth strategy will all depend on Twitter's execution moving forward. "Investors recognise having one man be the CEO of two companies wasn't very effective in terms of execution," he said.

'Pivotal moment'

Other voices resounded with optimism. Twitter's managing partner Jesse Cohn and senior portfolio manager Marc Steinberg pointed to an "ambitious multi-year plan" for Twitter to bolster its reach and value, backed up by the shift in leadership.

"We look forward to the next chapter of Twitter's story," they said, expressing confidence that Agrawal is the right leader for Twitter in this "pivotal moment".

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Topics: Leadership, C-Suite, #BusinessTransformation

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