Twitter Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey Will Donate $ 1 Billion of His Personal Wealth to Coronavirus Relief
Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said on Tuesday that he spent $ 1 billion of his personal assets on coronavirus aid through his philanthropic fund.
Dorsey, 43, revealed in a series of tweets that he would transfer his assets in his digital payment group Square to his limited company Start Small, which would contribute about 28 percent of his total assets.
Dorsey’s first pledge went to an initiative co-founded by actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
The move could be the largest of a single individual for coronavirus relief and comes with the pandemic that spans the globe and takes a heavy toll on lives and economic devastation for the United States.
The number of coronavirus deaths in the United States rose by more than 12,000 on Tuesday.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey donates more than a quarter of his assets to help deliver COVID-19 in what could be the largest single coronavirus relief individual
Twitter CEO Tuesday announced in a thread that he will donate approximately 28 percent of his assets to support efforts during the global pandemic and will now make his donations public
Why now? The needs are increasingly urgent and I want to see the impact in my life, ”said Dorsey.
“I hope this inspires others to do something similar. Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can to help people now. ‘
Dorsey said that after the pandemic, the fund would focus on girls’ health and education and “universal basic income” efforts.
Dorsey, CEO of both Twitter and Square, has founded both a foundation and the Start Small LLC.
The model is similar to that of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in his Chan-Zuckerberg initiative, allowing flexibility in funding startups and efforts that a foundation may not be able to fund.
Twitter co-founder Dorsey talked about his actions via the social media platform on Tuesday
Dorsey said the fund would focus on girls’ health and education once the global coronavirus pandemic is over, calling it “existential problems facing the world”
Dorsey has revealed that any information about his donations will be made public in the future
Why is #startsmall an LLC? This segments and allocates my shares to these causes and provides flexibility, ”said Dorsey.
A document link tweeted by Dorsey showed that the new fund had already pledged $ 100,000 to a new initiative called America’s Food Fund launched by Steve Jobs’s widow Laurene Powell Jobs and actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
Dorsey’s net worth is estimated by Forbes at approximately $ 3.3 billion, including his stake in Twitter and Square.
He said he chose to use his payment group equity because “I own a lot more Square.”
Dorsey also said he would accelerate the sale of the pledged shares over time.
“The impact this money will have should benefit both companies in the long run as it helps the people we want to serve,” he said.
Dorsey will largely donate the money from his shares in Square and not from Twitter
Twitter co-founder has also released a document tracking his donations, showing that his first $ 100,000 was contributed to an initiative co-founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs and actor Leonardo DiCaprio
Dorsey, who has kept details of his charity efforts private for years, said all donations to and from the fund would now be visible to the public at any time through a public document.
Other technology entrepreneurs have pledged in varying amounts.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has pledged $ 100 million to help with food aid during the pandemic, and Zuckerberg has offered more than $ 25 million to conduct research through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Gates Foundation pledged $ 125 million for research last month, but is expected to invest more in several projects.
The United States has registered more than 380,000 cases of coronavirus, with the total death toll reaching approximately 12,000.
Twitter Inc met its first-quarter revenue outlook and forecast an operational loss in late March as the corona virus outbreak compromised ad sales, but said the pandemic increased the number of active users on the microblogging platform.
The outbreak has made social media services like Twitter vital to a wider population than usual as people want to stay up to date with the latest news from authorities and keep in touch with friends virtually.
But many advertisers have withdrawn marketing budgets to cut costs because of the virus-related uncertainty, and others are reluctant to advertise alongside coronavirus discussions for fear of associating their brands with the sensitive topic.
“The impact of COVID-19 started in Asia and as it developed into a global pandemic, it has significantly impacted Twitter’s advertising revenues worldwide in recent weeks,” said finance director Ned Segal in a statement.
Twitter was the first major ad-supported US platform to publicize the impact of the corona virus.
Twitter’s warning came two weeks after it agreed with Elliott Management that Jack Dorsey would remain as CEO and add three new directors.
Elliott and his billionaire founder billionaire Paul Singer acquired a $ 1 billion stake in Twitter on February 28 and launched a campaign to remove Dorsey after the CEO announced last fall that he would be moving to Africa in mid-2020.
One of Singer’s concerns about Dorsey was his divided attention between his roles on Twitter and Square, the payment company he co-founded.
Investors were also concerned about how Dorsey would lead both companies if he moved to Africa for six months.
Elliott, who owns about four percent of Twitter’s shares, planned to nominate four people to the eight-member board of directors when three of the company’s directors were elected at the upcoming annual shareholders meeting, sources said last month. Reuters.
Twitter reached an investment agreement with Silver Lake and Elliott Management in March that would allow Jack Dorsey (pictured) to remain the CEO of the social media company after a pushed-off effort
Singer, a Republican mega donor, planned to use his $ 1 billion stake in Twitter to make many changes, starting at the top by removing Dorsey and nominating four board members
The new deal with Silver Lake appears to have destroyed the threat of Dorsey’s removal. It does not specifically mention changes in its role.
As part of the agreement, Twitter had pledged to grow daily users by 20 percent or more in 2020 and beyond, roughly in line with user growth in the fourth quarter.
Twitter said the total number of daily active users (mDAU) to earn has increased by 23 percent to 164 million quarter-to-date, thanks to the conversation surrounding COVID-19 and continued product improvements.
“We are seeing a significant increase in the number of people using Twitter,” said Dorsey.
The company said it expects sales to decline slightly year-on-year in the first quarter. It previously had estimated sales of between $ 825 million and $ 885 million, up 8.6 percent from a year earlier halfway through.
The company will release its results on April 30.