Twitter: Jack Dorsey Almost Joined Facebook After Getting Fired As CEO

Posted Oct 9, 2013


New York Times reporter and columnist Nick Bilton is releasing a book on November 5th called ?Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal.?  The book is being released around the same time that Twitter is going to go public.  The book focuses on the hardships that the company focused and how friendships were affected.  There is also tales of betrayal in the book.

In 2008, Twitter was being led by Jack Dorsey about two years after the company was created.  However, Dorsey was not focused on the Internet company at that time.  He spent time between running Twitter and trying out other hobbies like yoga and fashion design.  Twitter co-founder Evan Williams was fed up so he told Dorsey that “You can either be a dressmaker or the CEO of Twitter.”  He added “but you can’t be both.”

While Dorsey was running Twitter at that time, the company was known for their constant downtime (known as “fail whales”).  At the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, board members Bijan Sabet and Fred Wilson asked Dorsey to step down as CEO due to his lack of attention.  Dorsey would become the board chairman, but this would not give him any voting power.  Twitter co-founder Evan Williams becomes CEO again.

Once Dorsey lost the CEO position, he called up Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to find him a position.  Dorsey even sat down with Facebook VP Chris Cox to discuss a product-focused role.  Since a final position did not come up right away, Dorsey decided to move on to trying other projects.  He ended up spending a lot of time on payments company, Square.

The book points out that Williams resigned from the CEO position in 2011 based on a campaign spearheaded by Dorsey.  Dick Costolo became the CEO after Williams was forced out by the board.  The book also highlights how one of Twitter’s early co-founders, Noah Glass, was kicked out of the company.

Dorsey was reportedly the one that wanted Glass out of the company, but Williams had to give him the news.  Some of Twitter’s founders will receive tens of millions of dollars when the company goes public, but Glass sold most of his shares early on.


Glass actually came up with the idea for the name Twitter.  In the early stages of the company, the co-founders were trying to come up with a name for their product.  Evan Williams came up with the name “Friendstalker.”  Since that name did not sound marketable, Glass started to come up with names.  Glass came up with the name “Vibrate” at first, but then decided to go with the name “Twitch.”  Since that did not sound right, Glass started to look up for words in the dictionary that start with “Tw” and he found “Twitter.”  This is when he decided that Twitter as the name should stick.

[Source: AllThingsD/NYTimes]