Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Slams Elon Musk’s Leadership as Disastrous for the Platform

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has criticized Elon Musk’s leadership of Twitter on the new social network Bluesky, which Dorsey helped to start. In a series of posts on Friday night, Dorsey said that Musk has yet to prove to be the platform’s ideal steward and should have walked away from buying the site.

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

He added that he thought Musk should have paid $1 billion to back out of the deal to acquire the social media platform. Dorsey’s criticism of Musk reflects a growing backlash against a tumultuous tenure that has sent advertisers fleeing and users searching for alternatives.

Musk took over Twitter in October after amassing a sizable stake in the company in early 2022, accepting, then reneging on, a board seat, and ultimately mounting a hostile takeover attempt in April.

The Twitter board accepted Musk’s buyout by late April, commencing a deal that would take the company private. The terms of the agreement included a $1 billion penalty, known as a “breakup fee,” should Musk decide to back out.

Soon after the agreement, Twitter’s valuation fell significantly as economic pressures weighed heavily on the company and Tesla’s stock, the latter sharply reducing Musk’s net worth. Musk announced his intention to back out of the deal, and Twitter sued Musk to force him to complete the acquisition after a months-long court battle, which included a countersuit by Musk.

Musk and Twitter agreed to proceed with the deal in October, finalized later that month for $44 billion.
Musk’s tenure as Twitter boss has been marked by steep job cuts, an intense work environment, and a wholesale overhaul of the site’s user experience.

Twitter has leaned heavily into a subscription model and curated feeds that aim to show users content with which they are likelier to engage. Since Musk’s takeover, Twitter’s staff has been reduced by around 80 percent.

Dorsey apologized for growing the company “too quickly” after Musk embarked on layoffs that reduced the company by around 50 percent. Since then, he has sometimes criticized Musk’s decision-making, taking to Twitter to express his disagreement with Musk’s renaming of the site’s “Birdwatch” feature to “Community Notes,” for example.

Bluesky is part of a project initiated by Dorsey when he was still Twitter’s CEO to build a “decentralized” social media system in which no single person or company controls the experience. While Twitter has invested in Bluesky, it is now a separate company with its CEO. In recent days, it has been rapidly attracting high-profile Twitter users, some of whom have become disenchanted with the platform under Musk.

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