Jack Dorseywho stepped down as Twitter CEO less than a year ago has finally addressed the layoffs that impacted about 50% of the company he co-founded in 2006. The staff reduction, led by Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk, impacted thousands of people — and key teams working on human rights, accessibility, AI ethics and curation.
“People on Twitter, past and present, are strong and resilient,” Dorsey said on Twitter Saturday morning. “They will always find a way, no matter how difficult the moment is. I realize that many are angry with me. I myself am responsible for why everyone is in this situation: I have grown the company size too fast. Sorry about that.”
Dorsey, who also stepped down from Twitter’s board five months ago, added that he is “grateful and loving to everyone who has ever worked at Twitter. I don’t expect that to be mutual at this point…or ever…and I understand.”
This is Dorsey’s first public comment since Musk took over the platform last week. In the past, Dorsey said Musk is the “single solution I trust”.
Leaked documents from the Elon Musk v. Twitter trial provide some insight into how Dorsey was thinking about the future of the social media company. Dorsey texted Musk that he was leaving because Twitter had to become a new platform – one that is not a business.
“I believe it should be an open source protocol, funded by some kind of foundation that doesn’t own the protocol, just promotes it. Kind of like what Signal has done. It can’t have an advertising model,” Dorsey Musk texted.
Yesterday, affected Twitter employees used the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorkeda riff on the internal hashtag #LoveWhereYouWork, to thank each other, say goodbye and share personal news. As one former employee put it: the new hashtag is a “bittersweet phrase – not because I’m gone, but because it’s gone.”
Despite Dorsey’s departure from his official positions at Twitter, his silence was noticed. Musk, meanwhile, addressed the layoffs Friday evening.
“As for Twitter’s power reduction, unfortunately there is no choice when the company loses more than [$4 million a day]” Musk tweeted. “Everyone who left was offered a 3-month layoff, which is 50% more than required by law.”
Current and former Twitter employees can contact Natasha Mascarenhas at: @nmasc_ or Signal, a secure messaging app, at (925) 271 0912.