Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gets to keep his job — for now

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2019.
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Twitter is not going to fire CEO Jack Dorsey. Yet.

That’s because Twitter has announced a temporary cease-fire with Elliott Management, the “activist investor” fund that wanted Dorsey replaced. But the emphasis here should be on “temporary.” The agreement Twitter and Elliott announced today gives Elliott the tools it will need to boot Dorsey, sooner than later.

Here are the quick details:

To sum up, Elliott wanted Jack Dorsey gone. That won’t happen right away, but it could certainly happen by the end of this year since Elliott now has a seat at the table. Again, if you want a road map for how this stuff works, look at eBay. Its last CEO was replaced the same year Elliott got a seat at that company’s table.

Another scenario, which would also make Elliott happy, would be a deal to sell Twitter to ... someone else. And Elliott and Silver Lake are now in a better position to make that happen than they were a week ago.

A third scenario, which is much less likely but still theoretically possible, is Jack Dorsey wows everyone over the next few months and ends up keeping his job, Twitter shares go way up, and everyone is happy.

Or, to put it another way, which will make sense for people who’ve worked at a company of a certain size: At those companies, when managers want to fire someone, they don’t fire them immediately because they want to create a paper trail they think will protect them legally. So they create a “performance improvement plan,” which spells out the employee’s problems and lists the ways the employee will fix them as well as a timetable, etc. It’s a bunch of corporate kabuki because no one expects the employee to improve their performance. But when the managers eventually fire the employee, they can point to the performance improvement plan. That’s what we’re looking at here.

Two more notes:

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