I know we don’t talk a ton here about the character of leadership, that accelerating growth rates, expanding margins, excellent retention rates, giant moats and TAMs do the talking, but I have to wonder if the Sarah Friar departure is worse than we at first thought/think. FWIW, I am a SQ shareholder.
With Jack’s latest antics meditating in Myanmar and Tweeting about the “joyful” people, Friar’s departure irked me again, so I did a little research. I would have let this go, because I hate to pull the board into the “squishy” (non-math) areas, but these articles, as a whole, raise legit questions about Dorsey’s judgment, leadership, communication skills and even his character. So I felt worth sharing for your own consideration. For me, as as shareholder, I don’t like any of this, not one bit:
It sounds like Jack Dorsey really mailed his beard to Azelia Banks
Explaining that, having written a book about Twitter, he regularly receives gossip about Dorsey, Bilton wrote, “Once, a source who worked with him told me Dorsey had sent a rapper his beard shavings to make him an amulet that would protect him from evildoers.”
The rapper who allegedly received Dorsey’s facial hair, I’m very excited to share, was Azealia Banks. She tweeted about this exchange in 2016, writing that Dorsey “sent me his hair in an envelope because i was supposed to make him an amulet for protection.”
Let’s remember why Jack Dorsey was fired as CEO of Twitter - 09/15
Dorsey’s focus on outside hobbies, including sewing and drawing classes, and his frequent party appearances annoyed his co-workers. His lack of communication to investors and apparent six-figure text message bills annoyed the board. He had frequent arguments with Williams, who had provided the initial funding for Twitter. Oh, and while he was in charge, there was no backup of Twitter’s database.
Where is Jack Dorsey’s Charitable Foundation? - 12/18
As I dug into this mystery, I found a mess of public filings, but no real answers to where the money is. The only thing that’s clear is there is absolutely no way to prove that he’s delivered on his public commitments.
Jack Dorsey’s Eureka Moment - To run Twitter he might have to quit it - 12/18
Before he entered the Dhamma Mahimã monastery, where he would forgo all forms of communication for a week and a half, Dorsey had posed for a photograph with Twitter’s India team, where he was seen holding a poster that read “Smash Brahminical patriarchy.” The poster, which had been given to him before the photo was taken, set off an uproar in India, playing into the highly charged politics surrounding the country’s caste system, about which Dorsey seemed to be blissfully unaware.
Square CFO Steps down…
Friar isn’t a “normal” CFO, Andrew Jeffrey, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, wrote in a note to investors. “Her leadership in many ways has been more instrumental to Square’s emergence as a true payments disrupter and impressive growth story than CEO, Jack Dorsey’s.”
Bottom line: for elite A-list talent to report directly to this fella and succeed may be a bigger task than we can realize or fairly gauge from outside. I can’t fathom Hastings, Bezos, Buffett, Pandey, Ullal, Gates, Cook doing any of this nonsense. I can imagine Jobs doing it but I don’t think Dorsey is in Jobs’ league. So Friar is gone, Jack’s running this WHILE running the most visible news/social media site in the world? And disappearing for 10 days to meditate. That could be fine. Definitely. But it defies common sense.
PS - In my digging I did find that Friar was on the BoD of NEWR and left in May. Said Lew Cirne at the time of her departure, "Sarah has been an invaluable member of our board for many years and I am grateful for her countless contributions to New Relic’s success.” Purely FYI as I hadn’t known that. Apology if already covered here.