Jack Dorsey has resigned as the chief executive of Twitter, saying it is ‘finally time for him to leave’.
The platform co-founder, 45, said he is ‘really sad… yet really happy’ in a statement posted to his personal account this afternoon.
He wrote that the decision to leave was his own, despite reports stakeholder Paul Singer, the billionaire founder of hedge fund Elliott, had previously pressured him to step down.
Mr Singer had criticised Dorsey for being chief executive of both Twitter and payment company Square, and allegedly sought to remove him in 2020.
Current chief technology officer Parag Agrawal has been confirmed as Twitter’s new CEO.
Mr Dorsey said he would continue to serve on the company’s board until spring 2022 to aid the transition before leaving the firm completely.
His statement said: ‘After almost 16 years of having a role at our company… from co-founder to CEO to Chair to Exec Chair to interim-CEO to CEO… I’ve decided it’s finally time for me to leave.’
He added: ‘I want you all to know that this was my decision and I own it. It was a tough one for me, of course. I love this service and company… and all of you so much.
‘I’m really sad… yet really happy. There aren’t many companies that get to this level. And there aren’t many founders that choose their company over their own ego. I know we’ll prove this was the right move.’
He revealed his replacement Mr Agrawal agreeing to take on the role was one of the reasons behind his departure, saying he was ‘my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs’.
‘Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around’, he added.
‘He’s curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware and humble. He leads with heart and soul, and is someone I learn from daily. My trust in him as our CEO is bone-deep.’
In his own post, new chief executive Mr Agrawal said he had ‘so much excitement for the future’.
‘I look forward to building on everything we have accomplished under Jack’s leadership and I am incredibly energised by the opportunities ahead’, he added in a further statement.
‘By continuing to improve our execution, we will deliver tremendous value for our customers and shareholders as we reshape the future of public conversation.’
Twitter shares jumped 11% as speculation Dorsey had quit broke. Meanwhile, shares in Square – Dorsey’s other company – also jumped by 3%.
Dorsey co-founded Twitter alongside, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams back in 2006. Before announcing his departure, he tweeted saying: ‘I love Twitter.’
He previously left Twitter in 2008, before rejoining in 2011 and then becoming chief executive for the second time in 2015.
The social media billionaire recently stepped up to explain Twitter’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump in the wake of the attacks on the US Capitol in January.
He expressed regret for the incident, and warned it could set a ‘dangerous’ precedent.
‘We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety,’ Dorsey wrote in January.
‘Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.’
Dorsey noted that the ban wasn’t something to ‘celebrate’, but was instead a failure on Twitter’s part to promote healthy conversation.
He also suggested the platform would ‘reflect on our operations and the environment around us’ in the coming months.
While the tech CEO was steadfast in his belief that tweets like Trump’s ‘divide us’ and ‘limit the potential for clarification, redemption and learning’, he also warned of Big Tech’s growing power when it comes to decisions on banning individuals.
‘Over the long term it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet,’ Dorsey wrote.
Twitter was not immediately available for comment.
MORE : Elon Musk sells £3.7bn worth of Tesla stock following Twitter poll
MORE : Sacha Baron Cohen’s impassioned plea to Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey over Facebook and Twitter racist abuse following England’s Euros loss