Jack Dorsey, who stepped down as Twitter CEO less than one year ago, finally addressed the layoffs that impacted approximately 50% of the company he co-founded in 2006. The workforce 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.
“Folks at Twitter past and present are strong and resilient,” Dorsey said on Twitter on Saturday morning. “They will always find a way no matter how difficult the moment. I realize many are angry with me. I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company size too quickly. I apologize for that.”
Dorsey, who also stepped down from Twitter’s board five months ago, added that he’s “grateful for, and love, everyone who has ever worked at Twitter. I don’t expect that to be mutual in this moment…or ever…and I understand.”
Leaked documents from the Elon Musk v. Twitter trial give some insight into how Dorsey was thinking about the future of the social media company. Dorsey texted Musk that he left because Twitter needed to become a new platform – one that isn’t a company.
“I believe it must be an open source protocol, funded by a foundation of sorts that doesn’t own the protocol, only advances it. A bit like what Signal has done. It can’t have an advertising model,” Dorsey texted Musk.
Yesterday, impacted Twitter employees used the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked, a 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 roles at Twitter, his silence was noticed. Musk, meanwhile, addressed the layoffs on Friday evening.
“Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over [$4 million a day],” Musk tweeted. “Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.”
Current and former Twitter employees can reach out to Natasha Mascarenhas at @nmasc_ or Signal, a secure messaging app, at (925) 271 0912.