Just days after officially taking the reigns as Twitter’s new CEO for the second time, Jack Dorsey is already setting the stage for the company’s future. At Twitter Flight, the company’s yearly developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, October 21, Dorsey specifically addressed the company’s past relationship with developers. Twitter and the developer community have had a rocky past in which Twitter hasn’t always been completely welcoming. During Dorsey’s keynote address the CEO essentially said he wanted to apologize for any confusion regarding the past and move forward with the future.
While this was Dorsey’s largest public address yet after just being renamed CEO, it’s hardly Dorsey’s first controversial move. Just one week before the start of Twitter Flight, Dorsey announced a staff-restructuring plan that would cut about eight percent of Twitter’s entire staff, meaning lay offs of more than 300 people.
While the company’s future remains to be seen, this is, of course, not Dorsey’s first go-around with Twitter. Dorsey was first named CEO of Twitter in the early days of the company he helped co-found, later being forced to step down from his role and take on other roles within the company. Then, in the summer of 2015, Dorsey again started down the path of reclaiming his role at the top of Twitter, this time starting as Interim CEO before officially taking the CEO role for a second time in October 2015.
Some are already marking the comparison between Jack Dorsey’s role at Twitter and Steve Jobs’ similar, rocky relationship, with Apple. There are also questions about how Dorsey will handle a dual CEO role with Twitter and Square at the same time, both public companies.
In 2009 Dorsey founded Square after he lost out on the CEO job with Twitter the first time around. Square is a platform for small businesses that works on mobile devices to accept credit card and debit card payments. Just days before being named CEO of Twitter for a second time, Dorsey and his company filed for an IPO for Square. In this respect, he is also similar to Jobs who returned to Apple as their Interim CEO and was later named Apple’s Chief Executive while at the same time serving as CEO of Pixar.
As Dorsey’s role within Twitter leadership seems to have solidified, the company is forging ahead with its future plans. The keynote address that Dorsey gave developers was just a part of the larger conference where Twitter also officially launched several new developer tools. Among them, opening up Fabric to platform vendors, thereby giving developers the tools needed to add functionality to their apps. As well, the announcement was made that fastlane is also part of the Fabric toolset. Other announcements included details on embedded tweets and Gnip.