Sorry, Elon, but Jack Dorsey is still Twitter’s main character

Listen, I’m sure there will be a lot of stumm und drang about this denunciations of whistleblowers means for Elon Musk’s Twitter contractbut I want to focus on something more stupid and petty: Jack Dorsey.

Twitter had serious vulnerabilities that the Russian and Chinese governments could try to take advantage of, according to the whistleblower complaint from Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, Twitter’s former chief security officer. (Zatko refers to himself as “Mudge” in the complaint, but I’ll call him Zatko because that’s his government name.) Zatko also alleges that Twitter had no incentive to properly count bots. I can’t help but notice, however, that all of these allegations suggest that Dorsey was an incompetent leader.

Most of the things Zatko complains about happened while Dorsey was in his second term as CEO of Twitter. The first time Dorsey was CEO, he was fired in 2008. It’s probably because Dorsey was a bad manager, according to by Nick Billon Twitter outbreak. Dorsey liked to take credit, hated criticism, loved to party, and did weird and expensive texting deals that twitter cost six figures per month. In addition, he was often not very communicative with investors.

Personally, I wouldn’t rehire this guy for a second round, but Twitter was desperate in 2015. And so it was Dorsey, in his second run as CEO, who personally recruited Zatko. However, according to Zatko’s complaint, Dorsey was a “disengaged CEO” who didn’t say a single word in some meetings. Zatko even heard colleagues say that Dorsey’s silences could last “days or weeks” and that the senior team worried about his health, while “even mid and lower level personnel could tell the ship was rudderless”. Phew!

If we take the complaint seriously, a lot of the problems seem to stem from what she describes as Dorsey’s “absent behavior.” Apparently, Zatko got “little to no support for his task of fundamentally changing the risky behaviors of 8,000 employees.”

now here were people saying Dorsey wasn’t fit to be CEO of Twitter, especially the terrifying Elliott Management, which argued that Dorsey didn’t pay enough attention to Twitter (as it was too the CEO of payment company Square, which later rebranded itself as Block) and that he had been crap at retaining senior executives. Ultimately, Dorsey resigned and was replaced by Parag Agrawal as CEO, Elliott’s preferred choice. This is noted in the document, then followed by a thorough redaction, about which I am deeply curious.

Agrawal fired Zatko, along with other Dorsey seniors, including former Product Manager Kayvon Beykpour and Revenue Product Manager Bruce Falck. It’s not above all unusual for a CEO change. Often, the new one wants to replace the old CEO’s team with his own. In Zatko’s case, however, Twitter spokeswoman Rebecca Hahn attributed the dismissal to “poor performance and leadership,” according to The Washington Post. She also says Zatko’s whistleblower complaint is “riddled with inaccuracies” and that the purpose is “opportunistically…to inflict harm on Twitter, its customers, and its shareholders.”

Well, okay, Twitter would have say that. That doesn’t necessarily mean Zatko is wrong, though! always in Agrawal’s response to the story, emailed to employees, he repeats the line, writing that Zatko was fired for “ineffective leadership and poor performance.” Isn’t that the kind of thing that Jack Dorsey should have noticed on his own handpicked security?

Agrawal also suggests there will be more stories to come, but says, “We will pursue every path to uphold our integrity as a company and set the record straight.” Sorry if it’s just a journalist brain, but “pursuing every avenue to defend our integrity” sounds like “we could sue for libel” to me. Hope Twitter does! I can’t wait to see what they have to offer in discovery.

Anyway, the other thing i notice here is that Musk’s legal team subpoenaed Dorsey to appear yesterdayincluding for communications and documents relating to the merger, or any transaction between Musk and Twitter, including the purchase of common stock. Musk’s team also wants information about Musk’s Twitter forum membership and other Twitter communications.

i was wondering when Musk’s offer has been announced whether Dorsey was involved behind the scenes; he was still a member of Twitter’s board of directors at the time. Dorsey and Musk are buddies — which is part of what makes this subpoena weird to me. Couldn’t Musk just ask? Doesn’t Musk have his own recordings of many of these conversations?

Well, yes, Musk could have asked, but Dorsey, historically, has been known for indecisiveness and an inability to make good, timely calls. This was the heart of Elliott Management’s problems with him! That’s part of why he got fired the first time around! If I’m Musk’s lawyers, I guess Dorsey’s interference is part of what caused this whole mess. And Dorsey being Dorsey – remember he loves being a cult leader and hates taking any blame – is not going to defend the company he ran or even admit fault.

Anyway, if you needed more proof of Dorsey’s spectacularly poor judgment as a leader, he mimicked Musk’s vanity title at Tesla (“Technoking”) with his at Block (“Block Head”). Our the much-favorite Block Head then tweeted that Musk was “the singular solution I trust” for the future of Twitter. In July, Twitter is reportedly suing Musk for reneging on the deal.

So yeah, most people are going to focus on omg what does this mean for twitter. But I have to say, if I was working at Block right now – where Dorsey is currently CEO – I wouldn’t feel good! Dorsey’s favorite cause, Bitcoinis a boon for the company, but that’s not a profit see them. And in the last quarter, Bitcoin profits fell 24% as consumer demand has plunged. Shares in Block closed at $70.94 today – and are worth less than half what they were worth on January 3, the first trading day of this year.

Oh, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says Dorsey is dragging on investigationwho honestly? Looks like Dorsey.

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