Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey backtracked Saturday on his earlier endorsement of Elon Musk as the right choice to lead the company, speaking out against the billionaire who, for the past six months, has led Twitter through a series of largely self-inflicted crises.
Asked on Bluesky, Dorsey’s new Twitter-like social media venture, whether he believed Musk has been the best possible steward of Twitter, Dorsey said flatly: “No.”
Dorsey added that Musk “should have walked away” from acquiring Twitter for $44 billion, and faulted Twitter’s board in hindsight for trying to compel Musk to follow through with the deal despite Musk’s attempts to back out of the purchase last year.
“It all went south,” Dorsey said. “But it happened and all we can do now is build something to avoid that ever happening again.”
Twitter, which has cut much of its public relations team under Musk, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Under Musk, Twitter has slashed most of its staff, suffered frequent service disruptions and made a number of controversial changes to its policies and features, including a recent decision to remove blue checks from VIP users who don’t pay to be verified.
Dorsey’s reflections, outlined in Bluesky posts reviewed by CNN, highlight the Twitter founder’s growing disillusionment with Musk. They also come after numerous exchanges in recent months where Dorsey has publicly questioned some of Musk’s decision-making.
A year ago, Dorsey was quick to heap praise on Musk. When Musk’s deal to purchase Twitter was first announced, Dorsey said that so long as Twitter had to be owned by a single person or company, “Elon is the singular solution I trust.”
“I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness,” Dorsey proclaimed at the time.
Dorsey also rolled over his more than 18 million shares in Twitter (a roughly 2.4% stake) into the new Musk-owned company as an equity investor, rather than receiving a cash payout, according to a securities filing after the deal was completed.
Now, though, Dorsey appears to believe Musk was an imperfect choice. Confronted by criticism from other Bluesky users that Twitter could have gone in a different direction, Dorsey argued that there was nothing stopping someone else from outbidding Musk.
“If Elon or anyone wanted to buy the company, all they had to do was name a price that the board felt was better than what the company could do independently,” he said. “This is true for every public company.”
Asked whether he felt any responsibility for the role he played in the transaction, Dorsey, who served on Twitter’s board at the time, said he was not the only person who authorized the deal and that Twitter’s “only alternative” to Musk was an acquisition by “hedge funds and Wall Street activists.”
“The company would have never survived as a public company,” Dorsey claimed, adding: “I wish it were different,” but that some of Twitter’s revenue initiatives prior to Musk’s takeover “would not have mattered given market turn.”
Read More: Jack Dorsey no longer thinks Elon Musk is the right person to run Twitter