This week, bids may begin rolling in for Twitter — seemingly despite Jack Dorsey’s wishes:
The former and current Twitter CEO and cofounder is still against selling the company.
According to people familiar with the matter who spoke with Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier
, Dorsey was opposed to selling Twitter as recently as September 8, when Twitter held a board meeting to discuss the company’s future.
According to the piece, there isn’t a consensus within the company as to what should happen in the coming weeks and months. Dorsey wants Twitter to “remain on its current course and work to capitalise on recent product improvements and success in streaming live video,” according to Bloomberg.
It’s not much of a surprise that Dorsey is against selling. He’s the cofounder of the company, has been at the helm twice, and reiterated in July that he doesn’t want to sell. But perhaps more interesting is the fact that he might be the only one holding on to keeping the company independent — and was overruled by his own board.
Here’s how Bloomberg reports it:
Ev Williams, a former CEO who has a history of clashing with Dorsey, was in favour of exploring a sale. Other directors agreed they had a fiduciary duty to consider that option. The board ultimately decided to consider takeover prospects after getting an expression of interest from a potential acquirer, which led it to hire Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co. to evaluate possible bids.
The piece delves further into Dorsey’s issues as CEO, one year into his second tenure. According to analysts and people familiar with the company who spoke to Bloomberg, Twitter CFO Anthony Noto has essentially taken the reins, making product decisions like putting in a bid to stream Thursday Night Football games on Twitter.
Despite the company’s recent successes with livestreaming, it still has a lot to figure out, sale or no:
- Twitter still struggles with abuse and hate speech on its platform and seems unable or unwilling to figure out the right way to deal with it.
- Twitter seems to be having an identity crisis: It’s a news app, a social media company, and a live-streaming service, all rolled into one.
- The company has talked about new features and then failed to deliver, like the 10,000 character count, which apparently Dorsey canceled after seeing the public backlash.
- Growth is slowing and advertisers are starting to spend less on Twitter in favour of other sites like Instagram.
These issues are nothing new, and plagued the company under former CEO Dick Costolo, too — who’s also in support of Twitter remaining a standalone company. But as talks of a sale to Salesforce, Disney, or even
Google begin to heat up, the issues with Twitter and Dorsey may come to a head — and Dorsey might not get his wish to stay independent.
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