FILE PHOTO: Arrivals at the "Tech for Good" Summit in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Arrivals at the "Tech for Good" Summit in Paris

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey reconsiders Africa travel plan

By Kurt Wagner Time of article published Mar 6, 2020

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INTERNATIONAL - Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said he will reconsider working remotely from Africa in 2020 due to the coronavirus and “everything else going on.”

The CEO made the comments Thursday at a Morgan Stanley conference after being asked if he would change how he spends his time traveling given “what’s going on in the world.”

Dorsey wrote on Twitter late last year that he wanted to spend up to six months on the African continent in 2020. At the conference, the CEO conceded he made a mistake tweeting that without proper context. “I did not tweet the ‘why’ behind it,” Dorsey said.

Africa will be one of the most populated continents in the next few decades and Dorsey said he wants to understand African internet users as more of them come online for the first time. He also said he believes in the benefits of remote work. “My intention is not to just go hang out, or take a sabbatical,” he said.

What was not addressed during the conversation in San Francisco was Dorsey’s current job situation. The CEO spoke for 40 minutes, his first comments since Bloomberg reported that activist investment firm Elliott Management has taken a sizable stake in the company and wants to oust him. Dorsey was not asked about Elliott at the conference or if he is concerned about his job.

“I had been working on my plans where I’d work decentralized, as my team and I do when we travel, but in light of Covid-19 and everything else going on I need to re-evaluate,” he said. “Either way we’ll continue to pursue opportunities in Africa.”

During the conference presentation, Dorsey was asked what investors misunderstand about Twitter – perhaps a veiled attempt to address the elephant in the room. Elliott, an aggressive activist investment firm run by Paul Singer, thinks Twitter is mismanaged and that Dorsey is to blame. Dorsey, who also leads payments company Square Inc., replied that when he returned to Twitter as CEO in 2015, there was a lot to fix.

“We had to do a really hard reset of this company and that takes some time to actually build from,” he said.


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