Jack Dorsey

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Jack Dorsey
Jack Dorsey 2014.jpg
Dorsey at a London cafe in November, 2014
Born (1976-11-19) November 19, 1976 (age 40)[1]
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Residence San Francisco, California, U.S.
Alma mater Missouri University of Science and Technology (transferred)
New York University (dropped out)
Occupation CEO of Square, Inc., Twitter,[2]
Net worth Increase US$1.2 billion (August 2016)[3]
Board member of

Jack Dorsey (born November 19, 1976) is an American computer programmer and internet entrepreneur widely known as a co-founder and CEO of Twitter, and as the founder and CEO of Square, a mobile payments company.[7] In 2008, he was named to the MIT Technology Review TR35 as one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35.[8] For 2012, The Wall Street Journal gave him the "Innovator of the Year Award" for technology.[9]

Early life[edit]

Dorsey was born and raised in St. Louis,[10][11] the son of Marcia (Smith) and Tim Dorsey.[12][13][14] He is of part Italian descent.[15] His father worked for a company that developed mass spectrometers and his mother was a homemaker.[16] He was raised Catholic, and his uncle is a Catholic priest in Cincinnati.[17] He went to Catholic high school, at Bishop DuBourg High School.

By age fourteen, Dorsey had become interested in dispatch routing. Some of the open source software he created in the area of dispatch logistics is still used by many taxi cab companies.[12] Dorsey attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology before subsequently transferring to New York University Tandon School of Engineering, but he dropped out. He first came up with the idea that became Twitter at New York University.[18] While working on dispatching as a programmer, he later moved to California.[19][20]

long view of stage with Stone and Dorsey speaking in front of a slide presentation
Biz Stone and Dorsey accepting a Crunchie award for best mobile startup

In Oakland in 2000, Dorsey started his company to dispatch couriers, taxis, and emergency services from the Web.[21] His other projects and ideas at this time included networks of medical devices and a "frictionless service market".[21] In July 2000, building on dispatching[12] and inspired in part by LiveJournal and by AOL Instant Messenger, he had the idea for a Web-based realtime status/short message communication service.[21]

When he first saw implementations of instant messaging, Dorsey wondered whether the software's user status output could be shared among friends easily.[12] He approached Odeo, which at the time happened to be interested in text messaging.[12] Dorsey and Biz Stone decided that SMS text suited the status message idea, and built a prototype of Twitter in about two weeks.[12] The idea attracted many users at Odeo and investment from Evan Williams[12] who had left Google after selling Pyra Labs and Blogger.


Main article: Twitter
Dorsey in 2008
Dorsey at a Twitter Town Hall during 2011 alongside United States President Barack Obama

Williams, Stone and Noah Glass co-founded Obvious Corporation, which then spun off Twitter Inc. with Dorsey as the CEO.[12][22] As chief executive officer, Dorsey saw the startup through two rounds of funding by the venture capitalists who backed the company.[23] He reportedly lost his position for leaving work early to enjoy other pursuits such as yoga and fashion design.[24]

As the service began to grow in popularity, Dorsey chose the improvement of uptime as top priority,[25] even over creating revenue – which, as of 2008, Twitter was not designed to earn.[26] Dorsey described the commercial use of Twitter and its API as two things that could lead to paid features.[26] He describes his three guiding principles, which he says are shared by the company, as simplicity, constraint and craftsmanship.[26]

On October 16, 2008,[27] Williams took over the role of CEO, while Dorsey became chairman of the board.[28][29] On March 28, 2011, Dorsey returned to Twitter as Executive Chairman after Dick Costolo replaced Williams as the CEO.[30] On June 10, 2015, Costolo announced that he was resigning as CEO of Twitter effective July 1, 2015. Dorsey would assume the post of Interim CEO upon Costolo's departure.[31] He was named permanent CEO of Twitter on October 5, 2015.[32] On the day after the controversy about Twitter's new algorithms for tweets, Dorsey responded to the trend saying it was only a hoax.[33]

In May 2016, Dorsey announced that Twitter would not count photos and links in the 140-character limit to free up more space for text. This move was an attempt to entice new users since the number of tweets per day was at an all-time low of about 300 million in January 2016 compared to about 500 million in September 2013 and its peak of 661 million in August 2014.[34]

On November 17, 2016, Dorsey tweeted a public apology for an automated system error that allowed a hate ad to appear on Twitter that violated Twitter's user policy. The error occurred within one day of Twitter suspending multiple accounts associated with the alt-right movement.[35]

On November 22, 2016, Dorsey was briefly suspended from his own Twitter user account with 3.9M followers. After restoring the account Dorsey tweeted the suspension was due to an "internal mistake".[36]

Square, Inc.[edit]

Main article: Square, Inc.

Dorsey developed a small business platform to accept debit and credit card payments on a mobile device called Square, released in May 2010. The small, square-shaped device attaches to iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android devices via the headphone jack, and as a mini card reader allows a person to swipe their card, choose an amount to transfer to the recipient and then sign their name for confirmation. Square is also a system for sending paperless receipts via text message or email, and is available as a free app for iOS and Android OS.[37][38] The company grew from 10 employees in December 2009[39] to over a hundred employees by June 2011. Square's office is located on Market Street in San Francisco.[40] In September 2012, Business Insider magazine valued Square Inc. at $3.2 billion.[41] Dorsey is CEO of Square, Inc.[42] On October 14, 2015, Square filed for an IPO to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.[43]

Other projects[edit]

Producer Tom Anderson and correspondent Lara Logan interviewed Dorsey for a segment of CBS 60 Minutes called "The Innovator: Jack Dorsey" which aired during March 2013.[44] In 2013, talking to CNN, Dorsey expressed admiration for Michael Bloomberg and his reinvention through design and simple interfaces of what it means to be mayor.[45] Dorsey thinks becoming mayor of New York City is an aspiration that would raise the bar for him.[45] He served as a judge for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's NYC BigApps competition in 2011.[46] Dorsey is an on-record donor to Democratic Party candidates.[47]

Dorsey was announced as a new member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company on December 24, 2013. The press release referred to Dorsey as a "talented entrepreneur" and explained that his experience is aligned with the corporation's "strategic priorities."[48]


  1. ^ "Jack Dorsey". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Twitter names Jack Dorsey as CEO". CNN Money. October 5, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Jack Dorsey". Forbes. 
  4. ^ "Jack Dorsey – The Walt Disney Company". The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Board of directors - About". Twitter. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  6. ^ "About Square". Square. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  7. ^ Strange, Adario (April 20, 2007). "Flickr Document Reveals Origin Of Twitter". Wired News. CondéNet. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  8. ^ "TR35 Young Innovator". Technology Review. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Innovator of the Year Awards". WSJ. Magazine. Dow Jones. 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  10. ^ Profile Twitter founders: Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams. Telegraph. Retrieved on January 14, 2014.
  11. ^ Taste of St. Louis first major event to use Square : Business. Stltoday.com (2010-09-29). Retrieved on January 14, 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Glaser, Mark (May 17, 2007). "Twitter Founders Thrive on Micro-Blogging Constraints". Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  13. ^ Jack Dorsey, creador de twitter: 'En 140 caracteres la gente se siente más libre al escribir' | CIENCIA&TECNOLOGÍA. latercera.com. Retrieved on January 14, 2014.
  14. ^ The Virginian-Pilot Archives. Nl.newsbank.com (2009-11-26). Retrieved on January 14, 2014.
  15. ^ Jack Dorsey Believes That Eating Purple Food Makes You Healthier. Vanity Fair (2012-03-21). Retrieved on January 14, 2014.
  16. ^ Robehmed, Natalie (September 30, 2014). "The youngest billionaires on the Forbes 400: 11 under 40". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ Barker, Tim. (2009-11-15) Native son sets St. Louis atwitter 'He's always seen life a little differently,' uncle says of Twitter creator. : News. Stltoday.com. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  18. ^ "Co-founder of Twitter receives key to St. Louis with 140 character proclamation". ksdk.com. KSDK. September 19, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2009. After high school in St. Louis and some time at the University of Missouri-Rolla, Jack headed east to New York University. 
  19. ^ BusinessWeek (March 26, 2007). "Tech's Next Gen: The Best and Brightest". BusinessWeek. The McGraw-Hill Companies. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  20. ^ Dorsey, Jack (April 8, 2009). "To be clear: I didn't attend Cornell (and didn't invent Twitter there).". Twitter. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  21. ^ a b c Dorsey, Jack (March 24, 2006). "twttr sketch". Flickr. Yahoo!. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  22. ^ Patrick Hoge. Executive of the Year: Jack Dorsey. ‘’San Francisco Business Times’’. December 23, 2011.
  23. ^ Miller, Claire Cain (October 16, 2008). "Twitter Sidelines One Founder and Promotes Another". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  24. ^ "The Approval Matrix". New York magazine. Oct 21, 2013. 
  25. ^ Wagner, Mitch (June 24, 2008). "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: Improved Uptime Is Top Priority". InformationWeek. United Business ...Media. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  26. ^ a b c Wagner, Mitch (June 24, 2008). "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Talks About Its Business Model". InformationWeek. United Business Media. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  27. ^ Miller, Claire Cain (October 20, 2008). "Popularity or Income? Two Sites Fight It Out". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  28. ^ McCarthy, Caroline (October 16, 2008). "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey steps down". CNET News. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  29. ^ Jack Dorsey Tells David Kirkpatrick How It Felt to Be Ousted from Twitter and Discusses His Big New Idea: Square. ‘’Vanity Fair’’. March 3, 2011.
  30. ^ "Jack Dorsey Officially Returns to Twitter". Mashable. March 28, 2011. 
  31. ^ Primack, Dan (June 11, 2015), Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is Out, Jack Dorsey Back In, http://fortune.com/2015/06/11/twitter-ceo/
  32. ^ Beilfuss, Lisa. "Twitter Names Jack Dorsey CEO". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Jack on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Jack Dorsey is moving too slowly to save Twitter". Business Insider. Retrieved May 17, 2016. 
  35. ^ Moyer, Edward (November 17, 2016). "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey apologizes for neo-Nazi ad". cnet. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  36. ^ Seetherman, Deepa (November 22, 2016). "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's Account Briefly Suspended". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  37. ^ "Square". Square. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  38. ^ Jessi Hempel. Jack Dorsey: The man with two brains. ‘’Fortune’’. June 1, 2011.
  39. ^ Pollock, Jennifer (June 30, 2011). "CH+D Office Space: Square in San Francisco's Chronicle Building". California Home + Design. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  40. ^ "Square opens new headquarters in San Francisco, announces plans for expanded offices in New York and Kitchener-Waterloo" (Press release). Square, Inc. October 7, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  41. ^ Shontell, Alyssa (October 3, 2012). "THE DIGITAL 100: The World's Most Valuable Private Tech Companies". Business Insider. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  42. ^ Strugatz, Rachel (January 16, 2014). "Jack Dorsey Looks to Simplify Commerce With Square". WWD. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  43. ^ Soper, Alex Barinka alexbarinka Spencer. "Square Files for IPO as CEO Dorsey Juggles Twitter Revamp". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  44. ^ Lara Logan, correspondent. Tom Anderson, producer (March 17, 2013). The Innovator: Jack Dorsey (13:14 running time). 60 Minutes: CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  45. ^ a b Tapper, Jake; Pham, Sherisse (March 21, 2013). "Jack Dorsey on his desire to be mayor of New York City, Steve Jobs, and being a bachelor". CNN. Turner Broadcasting. Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  46. ^ "MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF NYC BIGAPPS 2.0 COMPETITION". NYC.gov. March 31, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  47. ^ "Donor Lookup: Jack Dorsey". OpenSecrets.org. The Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  48. ^ Anthony Ha (December 24, 2013). "Jack Dorsey Joins Disney's Board Of Directors". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved December 25, 2013. 

External links[edit]


Business positions
Preceded by
Company founded
Twitter CEO
Succeeded by
Evan Williams
Preceded by
Dick Costolo
Twitter CEO
Succeeded by