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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Allocates $1 billion in Equity to COVID-19 Relief Efforts

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is allocating $1 billion in his personal share equity to a new fund that will initially aim to assist in COVID-19 relief efforts.

In a tweet thread, Dorsey explained that he has allocated more than $40 million to various causes and organizations over the years, though mostly anonymously. Now, Dorsey says, any donations and grants will be public. Given he’s utilizing share equity, as opposed to direct cash, that makes sense – though even with that concession, the allocation is significant. 

Dorsey says that the funding will benefit both Twitter and Square over the long-term “because it’s helping the people we want to serve”.

As noted in Dorsey’s original tweet, once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, the funding will switch to girls’ health and education, and universal basic income, which Dorsey says “represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems facing the world”.

Many CEOs and billionaires have been criticized for keeping quiet amid the pandemic. With systems collapsing, and people losing their jobs all around them, those with the capacity to offer the greatest financial assistance have largely remained out of the picture, with some even seeking additional government funding to prop-up their businesses.

But there are exceptions. Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has donated millions to research and relief efforts through the Chan Zuckerberg initiative, which he operates with his wife Priscilla, while Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently announced that he would be investing billions to fund the construction of factories for COVID-19 vaccines, despite the fact that a lot of that money will go to waste on vaccine trials that don’t eventually make it through to production. Yet, even so, building the infrastructure is necessary for testing, which will speed up the process, and ensure the delivery of a viable vaccine faster than normal methods.  

Dorsey says that he hopes his donation will inspire others in similar positions as him to do the same.

“Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now.”

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Given that Dorsey is also under pressure to retain his job as Twitter CEO, it’s a significant commitment. And it will, indeed, be interesting to see if other billionaires follow Dorsey’s lead, and look to donate for the greater good.  

Socialmediatoday.com

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Jack Dorsey Exits Twitter Board, Clearing the Way for the Elon Musk Era at the App

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Elon Musk Launches Hostile Takeover Bid for Twitter

While there’s no new news on the Elon Musk takeover saga, we do have another reminder that Twitter’s leadership team is never going to be the same, regardless of what comes next, with co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey today leaving the Twitter board, effective immediately.

Dorsey’s full exit removes another big chunk of experience from the company – over the past two weeks, Twitter has lost:

  • Consumer product leader Kayvon Beykpour, who’d worked at Twitter for four years
  • Head of revenue product Bruce Falck (5 years)
  • Ilya Brown, a VP of product management (6 years)
  • Katrina Lane, VP of Twitter Service (1 year)
  • Max Schmeiser, head of data science (2 years)

That said, Dorsey’s move, isn’t a surprise.

Back in November, when Dorsey announced that he was standing down as Twitter CEO, he also noted that he would stay on Twitter’s board till around ‘May-ish’ to help incoming CEO Parag Agrawal and incoming Twitter Board chair Bret Taylor with their respective transitions.

Of course, back then, Dorsey couldn’t have predicted the chaos on the horizon, but despite the distractions of an imminent takeover, Dorsey has decided to stick with his original plan, and step away from the platform that he helped build.

That clears the path for a new era under Elon Musk, who has vowed to make significant changes to the way that Twitter operates – though of late, Musk seems to be more distracted by stats on population decline and political conspiracies than he does in completing the Twitter deal.

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On May 13th, Musk said that his Twitter takeover offer was effectively ‘on hold’ pending more data from Twitter on its fake profile count, which it pegs at 5% of active users. Many users have since shared partial evidence that, in their opinion, proves that this number is not correct, while Twitter itself has maintained that there’s no such thing as ‘on hold’ in the takeover process, and that it’s preparing for the deal to close sometime soon.

Musk says that he won’t pay full price for something that’s not what he believed he was purchasing.

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But then again, Musk also waived doing detailed due diligence on Twitter’s business, in order to reach an agreement faster, which means that he may be tied to the purchase anyway, regardless of what Twitter or anyone else may find here.

For his part, Dorsey has been a strong advocate for Musk, and his interest in Twitter, and has noted several times that he believes Musk is the best option to ‘save’ the company.

Now Dorsey is getting out of the way to let that happen, which will mean that none of Twitter’s four founders remain in any position to advise or guide the platform in any direct capacity from now on.

That could be a good thing. Twitter, of course, is a far cry from what it was in the beginning, and maybe now it needs to detach from its founding concepts to reach its next stage.

But again, that’s a lot of experience heading out the door, with current CEO Agrawal also on the chopping block, according to Musk’s statements.

How that impacts Twitter’s future direction is hard to say. Again, Musk has already flagged significant changes, but without experienced voices advising him on what’s happened in the past, he could be doomed to repeat previous mistakes, impeding the company’s progress even more.

Or maybe it makes things easier, without the constraints of past limitations holding things up. I would lean towards the former, but clearly, Musk has his own ideas about how he’s going to transform the app, once he does, eventually, take control.

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Which seems like more of a ‘when’ than ‘if’, but maybe Musk has some other trick up his sleeve to either reduce his offer price or get out of the Twitter deal entirely.

Either way, massive changes are coming to the app, which could alter the way that it’s used entirely.

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