Mar 6, 2020 - Technology

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey rethinks Africa plan amid coronavirus outbreak

Jack Dorsey.

Photo: Victor Boyko/Getty Images for Chrome Hearts

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said at a Morgan Stanley conference in San Francisco Thursday that he was re-evaluating his plan to spend several months in Africa this year.

Between the lines: Dorsey specifically blamed the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, though his decision also comes as Twitter struggles with tough content and business issues and as an activist investor, Elliott Management, is seeking his ouster.

Of note: Bloomberg reporter Kurt Wagner noted that despite being interviewed on stage for 40 minutes, Dorsey was not asked a direct question about Elliott's move to have him replaced as CEO.

  • Still, many of Dorsey's comments seemed aimed at addressing criticisms lobbed by Elliott and others.

What he said:

  • On misinformation: "Misleading information is an entirely new vector. And the challenge here is that the technology to create misleading information content is moving much faster than the technology to detect it."
  • On boosting revenue: "We've been talking about rebuilding our core ad server. We made a ton of progress in 2019 and starting in this year. And we should be complete with the work to rebuild the ad server by the first half of this year."
  • On Twitter's ability to innovate: "We get a lot of critique about how the pace of development at Twitter is slow. And I think the expectation is that more changes on the surface. But the most impactful changes are the things that happen under the surface."

The bottom line: Dorsey may not have addressed Elliott by name, but he was speaking to its attack on his leadership.

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