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Jack Dorsey Says He Will Not Leave His Role as Square CEO

“I'm Square CEO and that won't change.”

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Jack Dorsey to the tech world: Stop speculating, because I’m not leaving Square.

Dorsey issued Re/code a statement on Tuesday reaffirming his commitment to remain in the top spot at Square despite his appointment as Twitter’s interim CEO and responding to the speculation that he could be in the running to keep that post on a permanent basis.

“As I said last week, I’m as committed as ever to Square and its continued success,” Dorsey said in the statement. “I’m Square CEO and that won’t change.”

If you take Dorsey at his word — specifically, the “that won’t change” part — the statement implies Dorsey would only accept Twitter’s CEO job permanently if he had the board support to be CEO of both companies. It’s an unlikely scenario, but there is some precedent. Elon Musk runs both Tesla and SpaceX, for instance.

The more likely outcome, however, is that Dorsey won’t stay on as CEO of Twitter given the intense scrutiny over the company’s future and the likely investor outrage that would come with someone being CEO of two companies at once.

The Dorsey statement was issued to Re/code in response to a request for comment about a story highlighting potential candidates for Square’s CEO role should Dorsey leave. Since you can never say never, here’s a list of candidates who insiders, former employees and industry observers think could handle the role.

Francoise Brougher

1: Francoise Brougher

Brougher and CFO Sarah Friar were the two internal names that came up most often in conversations over the last few days. Brougher has never had a big public profile, but she came to Square two years ago from Google, where she was a high-powered executive overseeing businesses that generated $15 billion in annual sales. At Square, Brougher has the understated title of “business lead,” which means running the sales and customer service teams along with responsibility for turning the company’s new products into cash machines. Here’s more on Brougher from a 2014 profile I wrote about her.

2: Sarah Friar

Friar is Square’s chief financial officer and the longest-tenured senior executive under Dorsey within this group of candidates. She joined Square three years ago from, where she was a senior finance executive. Before that, she was a managing director and longtime equity analyst at Goldman Sachs, which makes her very familiar with the public markets. That should soon come in handy. Forbes reported last week that Square intends to go public this year, and while Re/code hasn’t independently confirmed the exact time frame, a person familiar with the company’s plans said Square would likely file the paperwork to go public this year, at a minimum.

3: Alyssa Henry

Henry would be a dark-horse pick for the spot, since she has only been with the company for a bit more than a year. But she’s highly respected internally and is another low-profile Square executive with an impressive resume and a large role. Henry joined Square in April 2014 from Amazon, where she ran the data storage unit for Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s $5 billion cloud computing business. Henry originally ran the teams responsible for the back end of Square’s payment system and infrastructure, as well as the fraud and analytics teams. But late last year, she was given a larger purview overseeing all product and engineering teams working on software Square builds for business owners.

4: Gokul Rajaram

The former Facebook and Google executive is universally loved at Square, where he initially ran the product team for Square’s core checkout software, Square Register, after joining the company a little over two years ago. Last year, Rajaram moved into a new role overseeing engineering and product teams for Square’s consumer products: The restaurant-delivery service Caviar, which Square acquired, and a food-ordering app, Square Order. With Square Order being shut down, Rajaram is essentially the internal CEO of Caviar, which has become a top focus for the company as it looks to carve out a lead spot in the competitive same-day delivery space. Current and former employees, however, question whether Rajaram has the proper demeanor for the CEO role. He’s almost too nice, some say.

5: Roelof Botha

Botha is a mix of an insider and an outsider choice. He knows Square’s business better than most, since he is a board member thanks to the investment from Sequoia Capital, the firm he works for. He also has some impressive industry experience. He was CFO of PayPal and helped take the company public in 2002 when he was only 28. A year later, after eBay acquired PayPal, Botha joined Sequoia Capital, and people who know him well question whether he would leave a successful VC career to jump back into the saddle leading a company.

6: Bill Ready

The one outsider candidate who came up several times was Ready. Ready is the former CEO of Braintree and built one of the fastest-growing online payments startups, then sold it to PayPal for $800 million in 2013. He is the rare hybrid executive who comes from a technical background but is equally adept at the sales side of the work. Ready is also familiar with Dorsey and Square; the two companies discussed a potential acquisition before Ready ultimately decided to sell to PayPal. Ready currently has another big role, running the entire merchant side of PayPal’s business as it nears its spinoff from parent eBay.

Correction: The story has been updated to state that Friar is the longest-tenured senior executive under Dorsey within the group of candidates, and not within the company altogether.

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