Technology

Parag Agrawal’s CEO position could get affected by Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey’s old friendship

Early in the Twitter takeover talks, Elon Musk said that he has no “confidence in management”, which means, say observers, that current CEO Parag Agrawal’s position may not be secure.

So, if Agrawal has to step down, who might replace him as the new CEO of Twitter? This was a question that was raised soon after it was announced that the microblogging platform would be bought by Musk for around $44 billion.

Comeback?

Since then, some reports have suggested that the return of former CEO Jack Dorsey cannot be ruled out. Even the former head of Twitter India, Manish Maheshwari, recently stated that Dorsey may make a comeback in a more powerful role—like the chairman of Twitter.

Additionally, according to reports, Chinese analysts also expect Dorsey, who left the CEO position about 5 months ago, to return to the role.

Agrawal, who has spent more than a decade at Twitter, has hardly had time to set up his corner office. Last November, he was promoted to the top role after Dorsey resigned under pressure from activist investor Elliott.

After the takeover announcement, in a statement, Agrawal said: “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.”

Dorsey and Musk

Shortly after Twitter announced it would accept a $44-billion offer from Musk, Dorsey said in a series of tweets that he trusts the Tesla CEO to run the microblogging platform.

“Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness,” he wrote.

Musk and Dorsey have known one another for years, and there are a few reasons why Dorsey may be supporting the Tesla CEO.

Dorsey, who now leads payments company Block, stated on Twitter that he supports Musk’s plan to take Twitter private because it is currently “owned by Wall Street”. He wrote that “taking it back from Wall Street is the correct first step”.

Musk stated in a letter announcing his offer to buy Twitter that the company needs to go private in order to “go through the changes that need to be made”.

Dorsey has previously stated his support for taking the company private. He wrote in a tweet on April 15, the day after Musk made his first public offer to buy Twitter and the day Twitter’s board adopted the “poison pill” defence, that “as a public company, Twitter has always been ‘for sale.’ that’s the real issue”.

According to the company’s most recent proxy statement, Dorsey owns 2.36% of Twitter’s outstanding shares, both directly and through trusts. Musk’s agreed-upon proposed purchase price of $54.20 per share would net him approximately $978 million.

However, in terms of the relationship between the duo, they have been friendly with each other for years. For example, at the 2016 Dmexco digital marketing trade show in Germany, Dorsey praised Musk as a model for how Twitter should be used.

At that time Dorsey said: “He’s constantly on Twitter, constantly talking about what they are doing — and how he’s feeling about it as well. He’s very open and using it to correct press and if people aren’t focused on the right things. I think he’s a really good model of how to use it well.”

Similarly, Musk said Dorsey has a “good heart” in a 2020 tweet and it happened in 2020 when Twitter investor Elliott initially tried to push him out as Twitter CEO.

However, recently Musk also praised Dorsey’s new official title at Block, “Block Head”.

In 2020, Dorsey invited Musk to speak to a group of Twitter employees when he was still CEO and personally asked the SpaceX founder for advice on how the platform should operate. During that event, Musk suggested that Twitter should do more to verify user identities and ensure that they are real people.

It was also reported that before asking Musk for advice at the Twitter company event in 2020, Dorsey jokingly asked, “By the way, do you want to run Twitter?”

However, as reported recently, the duo has also formed a new partnership to build a bitcoin mine in Texas that is totally powered by renewable energy. This news was revealed by the mine’s other partner, Blockstream co-founder and CEO Adam Back, at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami.

Furthermore, Maheshwari explained that both Musk and Dorsey have been appreciating as well as supporting each other on social media openly. According to him, since they are also close “ideologically” he would not be surprised if Dorsey comes back to Twitter.

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