Jack Dorsey says Twitter ‘went south’ after company’s sale to Elon Musk

·3-min read
Jack Dorsey says Twitter ‘went south’ after company’s sale to Elon Musk

Jack Dorsey has openly criticised the leadership of Twitter’s current chief Elon Musk in a new unfiltered response.

Commenting on Friday under a discussion on his new social media platform BlueSky, the Twitter co-founder said “it all went south” after the Tesla chief’s purchase of the platform.

He said Mr Musk should have “walked away” from the acquisition.

BlueSky, a decentralised social media platform, has become increasingly popular as a potential Twitter alternative.

Several users have flocked to the invite-only site following dissatisfaction with Twitter’s management under Mr Musk.

In a U-turn from his previous comments, Mr Dorsey, when asked if he believed Mr Musk was the right leader for Twitter, said “No”.

“Nor do I think he acted right after realising his timing was bad. Nor do I think the board should have forced the sale. It all went south,” wrote the former Twitter chief.

“But it happened and all we can do now is build something to avoid that ever happening again,” he said.

This is a shift in Mr Dorsey’s stance. He had said last April that Mr Musk’s Twitter takeover was the “singular solution” he trusts.

“Solving for the problem of it being a company, however, Elon is the singular solution I trust,” noted the Twitter co-founder.

“Elon’s goal of creating a platform that is ‘maximally trusted and broadly inclusive’ is the right one,” Mr Dorsey had said.

In early 2022, Mr Musk first acquired a substantial stake in Twitter and then took over as the company’s chief in October.

While he initially accepted a board seat, he then refused the offer and launched a hostile takeover bid to buy the company for $44bn.

Twitter’s board accepted the Tesla chief’s offer in April 2022 along with a $1bn “breakup fee” in case Mr Musk decided to back out of the deal.

Just shortly after making his final offer to buy Twitter, stock markets turned and Mr Musk sought to withdraw from the deal, leading to a legal battle between the Tesla chief and Twitter.

The acquisition was finally completed at the originally agreed-upon price.

The multibillionaire has come under widespread criticism for his sweeping decisions that include laying off more than half the company’s workforce and to change the platform’s content moderation strategies.

His moves at the company have led to advertisers leaving the platform, and several influential users threatening to leave the site.

While Mr Dorsey earlier publicly advocated for the SpaceX and Tesla chief’s takeover of Twitter, he said things should have gone differently.

Mr Musk also controversially did away with Twitter’s previous user verification system and introduced a new $8 a month subscription service for accounts to receive the “blue check” tag.

“Payment as proof of human is a trap and I’m not aligned with that at all,” Mr Dorsey said, adding that the payment systems being used for proof “exclude millions if not billions of people”.

“Was I optimistic? Yes. Did I have final say? No. I think he should have walked away and paid the $1bn.”