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Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: James Brickwood/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Sing it with me one more time: Elliott Management gets what Elliott Management wants.

Driving the news: Jack Dorsey yesterday stepped down as CEO of Twitter, nearly two years after the activist investor began pushing for his ouster. His replacement will be longtime CTO Parag Agrawal.

  • Dorsey didn't mention Elliott in his resignation memo, instead going with some stuff about how it's important for companies to break free of their founders (you'll never guess who founded Square, where Dorsey remains CEO).
  • Reminder: Dorsey didn't have voting control at Twitter. He does have it at Square, plus a ton more equity value and fewer political headaches.

What happened: Dorsey seemed to save his skin last March when Twitter agreed to give Elliott a board seat and accept a large new investment/share repurchase agreement with private equity firm Silver Lake (which also joined the board).

  • Behind the scenes, however, Twitter's reconstructed board is said to have quickly formed a management structure committee.
  • Twitter disclosed last November in an 8-K filing that it had "updated the CEO succession plan in line with best practices."
  • That line was intentionally vague, but it basically meant that Twitter had launched a yearlong process to replace Dorsey, the culmination of which was made public yesterday.

Elliott stepped off the board earlier this year, but it continued to be involved — having signed a confidential information-sharing agreement with Twitter.

  • The upshot is that Elliott had wanted two things: New management and an increased pace of product innovation.
  • On the former, Dorsey is gone and there also have been changes at the chairman level. On the latter, Twitter has rolled out a series of products, including a subscription service called Blue and a Clubhouse knockoff called Spaces.

The bottom line: Elliott's asks often appear fanciful at first blush, whether the target is AT&T or Dell or eBay or Athenahealth or @jack. But, more often than not, its dreams become reality.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Nov 30, 2021 - Axios Events

Bret Taylor named Salesforce co-CEO, one day after becoming Twitter's chairman

Bret Taylor on Tuesday was named co-CEO of Salesforce.com, alongside company founder Marc Benioff, just one day after Taylor was named chairman of Twitter.

Why it matters: Taylor has been widely viewed as next in line to succeed Benioff, who's increased his involvement in philanthropic efforts and ownership of Time magazine, but the Twitter changes may have accelerated the Salesforce timeline.

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

The Robinhood M&A rumor mill churns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood's valuation is now just over $11 billion, a fraction of where it traded in August and below that of its last private round of funding. Cue the M&A mongers.

Why it matters: It's not just Robinhood—falling values of growth-oriented tech stocks have raised speculation that formerly high-flying fintechs could be snapped up by more well-capitalized buyers.