Saturday, July 4, 2020

What Twitter boss Jack Dorsey is doing against Corona

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Jack Dorsey is one of the most prominent figures in the American technology industry. He runs two companies, the short message service Twitter and the payment platform Square. Unlike Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the social network Facebook, Dorsey has so far not attracted much public attention with charitable commitment. He is changing this in a spectacular way: He has announced that he will transfer $ 1 billion Square shares to a charity called Start Small, which will initially support projects related to the Corona crisis. As Dorsey said, the amount is 28 percent of his wealth, and he uses Square shares because he has a more valuable stake in the pay service than in Twitter.

When the pandemic is over, Start Small should also get involved in other areas, including girls’ education and health, and unconditional basic income, “a great idea to experiment with,” according to Dorsey. The first Corona project he supports is called America’s Food Fund, an initiative launched by actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs, to provide food to the needy. Dorsey gives $ 100,000 for that.

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The 43-year-old chief of Twitter and Square is not the only multi-billionaire who is providing larger sums for the fight against the coronavirus and the resulting disease Covid-19. The charitable foundation, led by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, has promised $ 100 million that the money will flow, among other things, into the development of drugs to treat Covid-19. Gates has also just said that his foundation wants to spend several billion dollars on the production of potential vaccines against the virus. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, wants to give $ 100 million to charities to provide food for Americans in need. Dorsey’s donation stands out because it spans more than a quarter of his fortune. Whereby he pointed out that this was not his first charity. He has donated $ 40 million in the past, but mostly anonymously.

Dorsey is the central figure in the history of Twitter. He was one of the co-founders, in 2006 he sent the first “tweet” and thus gave the official go-ahead for the platform. He led Twitter in the early years, has since been pushed out of the company, and has been at the top again since 2015. His second company Square was created in 2009. Dorsey recently had to deal with a campaign by the dreaded hedge fund Elliott Management, which pushed for a change of management on Twitter. The investor then agreed to an agreement that would secure influence but leave Dorsey in his post.

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