Maybe it’s time we all stop wringing our hands and just accept that Jack Dorsey is going to serve as CEO of both Twitter and Square.
Just to be clear, Dorsey hasn’t made the jump from interim to permanent CEO of Twitter - yet. But support for his appointment has bled beyond the confines of Twitter investor Chris Sacca’s Twitter rants. Twitter shareholder Rizvi Traverse Management and a venture capitalist at Square shareholder Khosla Ventures say Dorsey can manage both companies simultaneously, no problem.
“After watching Jack execute on his vision at Square, and more recently at Twitter as C.E.O., we are highly confident in Jack’s ability to serve as C.E.O. of both companies,” Rizvi Traverse Management spokesman Justin Dini told the New York Times Monday.
Twitter’s search for a permanent CEO following the resignation of Dick Costolo in June has been a veritable saga. Investors and analysts fret that Twitter is taking too long to make a decision, and some question the wisdom of reinstating a former CEO.
Dorsey's desire to maintain his role at Square has clearly been a sticking point, but the idea that it has to be is not by any means a given. Whiles such a move is rare, it is far from unprecedented. Here are some examples of other executives who have done double duty.
The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors said last year that he planned on retaining his executive position at the latter for another four to five years, or enough time to oversee production of the automakers third generation car, dubbed the Model 3. “It is quite difficult to be CEO at two companies,” Musk has reportedly said. “I will stay four or five years, then it’s TBD after that.”
The CEO and chairman of car companies Nissan and Renault, and chairman of automaker AutoVas, has said the secret to his success boils down to avoiding multitasking.
“I don't mix the different responsibilities because I just want to make sure the different teams in charge feel responsible and there is no confusion between the different companies. So, a lot of pragmatism, some basic rules, professional people around you and at the end of the day, it's possible,” he once told LinkedIn executive editor Daniel Roth.
Sillerman is CEO of electronic dance music company SFX Entertainment and entertainment-centric gaming and rewards platform Viggle. Both companies have encountered financial hurdles recently. Viggle is reportedly going into forbearance on an acquisition and the board of directors of the reportedly cash-strapped SFX is seeking to take the company private.
Jobs ran Apple and Pixar as CEO simultaneously, though he was known for being much more involved at Apple. While the two companies are successful today, Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs framed the dual responsibilities as too heavy a weight on Jobs personally. Jobs believed the health issues he faced toward the end of his life in part stemmed from the toll of balancing the roles.