Co-Head of EII Markets and Investments, BlackRock
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Earlier this year, Jack Dorsey was in danger of losing his CEO title at Twitter after activist investors attempted to force his ouster. But Dorsey hung on, and in the months since has steered Twitter in a more confident direction, proving he’s willing to take a stand on issues he cares about.
As dual challenges bore down on the US in the form of the coronavirus crisis and the spotlight on police brutality against Black Americans, Dorsey put his employees first, telling Twitter employees they could work remotely forever and becoming the first tech CEO to make Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery, a company holiday.
In this election year, Dorsey has nixed political ads from Twitter and hasn’t shied away from placing warning labels on tweets from President Donald Trump that violated that platform’s policies.
And at a point where billionaire wealth is more closely scrutinized than ever before, Dorsey has pledged $1 billion of his equity in Square, nearly a third of his wealth, to a charity fund that has already donated over $171 million to coronavirus relief efforts, girls’ health, and universal basic income. Dorsey is holding himself accountable to that pledge, tracking each donation in a publicly accessible spreadsheet.
The road ahead is not without its challenges. Twitter has seen a decline in ad revenue amid the pandemic, which has forced the company to start working on new revenue streams (possibly even a subscription model). And in July, Twitter experienced a massive hack that compromised the accounts of some of the platform’s most high-profile users: Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and dozens more.
But Dorsey’s actions so far point to a new frontier for tech’s ruling class: a more egalitarian society where moral responsibility is a guiding principle.