Jack Dorsey isn’t the first: 9 other tech company founders who later returned as CEO

Steve jobs
In this April 4, 1991, file photo, Steve Jobs of NeXT Computer Inc. poses for the press with his NeXTstation colour computer at the NeXT facility in Redwood City, Calif. AP Images

Silicon Valley strongly believes in the founder mythos: That is, founders know best.

So it’s no surprise that many founders have returned to their companies as CEOs several years down the line, whether to give them a critical kick in the pants or to save them from near disaster.

Here are 10 tech founders who returned to go down with the ship or patch the holes to keep it alive.

title=”Jerry Yang, Yahoo”
content=”Jerry Yang’s path from founder to return as CEO was perhaps one of the most troubled — or at least it appeared so at the time.

Yang co-founded the internet company with David Filo in 1995, but he didn’t move into the role of CEO until 2007.

During his tenure, he infamously blew a takeover a $US44.6 billion takeover bid from Microsoft in 2008 after negotiations fell apart and he didn’t want to sell. The board replaced him with Carol Bartz in 2009, then went through two more short-lived CEOs before hiring Marissa Mayer in January 2012.

However, Yang ultimately got the last laugh. A large share of Yahoo’s value is thanks to the Alibaba investment Yang made in 2005. The Yahoo stock also went above the $US33 takeover mark that Microsoft was asking, although it’s since fallen below that price point once again.”
source=”Yahoo! via flickr”
caption=”Jerry Yang is the co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo.”
title=”Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn”
content=”In 2003, Reid Hoffman founded and then led LinkedIn through its four years. After growing it to more than nine million members, he appointed Dan Nye as the new CEO in 2007.

Nye only served two years at the helm before a management shake-up resulted in Hoffman re-taking the role in December 2008.

Hoffman’s return as CEO was only a short six months. Jeff Weiner, who had joined the company as president in the management shake-up, was quickly appointed CEO in July 2009 and has stayed in the position since.”
source=”Bloomberg TV”
caption=”Reid Hoffman, executive chairman, cofounder LinkedIn”
title=”Steve Huffman, Reddit”
content=”10 years ago, Steve Huffman co-founded Reddit in his dorm room and led the site as its original CEO.

After the sale to Condé Nast a year later, Huffman later started a new company, travel site Hipmunk.

In early July, though, Reddit users protested interim CEO Ellen Pao’s move to fire an employee who led their AMA sessions. The site soon found itself in an uproar as users rebelled and locked down several subreddits. It was the last straw in Pao’s tumultuous tenure and Huffman returned to the company.

Interestingly, like Dorsey, Huffman has remained in a critical leadership position of his other company. Huffman is still CTO of Hipmunk.”
title=”Sean Rad, Tinder”
content=”Sean Rad co-founded Tinder, the swiping dating app, in 2012.

Two years later, Rad stepped away from the CEO position because the company was looking for a more experienced, ‘Eric Schmidt-like person’ as the company’s next CEO. However, insiders told Forbes at the time of Rad’s original departure that Tinder’s recent sexual-harassment lawsuit was also to blame for Rad’s leaving the company.

Either way, Rad’s brief respite from CEO didn’t last long. Chris Payne was appointed CEO in March 2015, but only lasted five months in the position.

As of August 2015, Rad is back in the top position.”
source=”Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch”
title=”Mark Pincus, Zynga”
content=”Zynga took off like a rocket in 2007 thanks to its creation of Farmville, but it hasn’t sustained that momentum.

Founder Mark Pincus stepped down from the CEO role in 2013. Former Microsoft and EA exec Don Mattrick stepped in try to turn the company around and make it less reliant on Facebook. The turnaround didn’t work to revive the company.

With worsening finances, Pincus retook the role of CEO in April 2015. ‘We need to get back to being the leader in mobile data and analytics, which leads to the best product management in our games,’ Pincus told the New York Times at the time. ‘I think I bring a DNA and passion, in that respect.'”
source=” Scott Olson/Getty Images”
title=”Rob Kalin, Etsy”
content=”Rob Kalin founded Etsy in 2005 and remained its leader until July 2008. It was a short break, though, and Kalin returned to the CEO role in 2009.

He left the company again in 2011, when he passed the title on to then-CTO Chad Dickerson. It was Dickerson who took the crafting marketplace public, and Kalin has practically been written out of the company’s history.”