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The wild life of billionaire Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who eats one meal a day, evangelizes about bitcoin, and had to defend his company in front of Congress

Business Insider
Business Insider
 2021-11-29
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Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • He is famous for his unusual life of luxury, including a daily fasting routine and regular ice baths.
  • Dorsey announced he had stepped down as the CEO of Twitter on November 29, 2021.
  • Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories.

From fighting armies of bots to quashing rumors about sending his beard hair to rapper Azealia Banks, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey leads an unusual life of luxury.

Dorsey has had a turbulent career in Silicon Valley. After cofounding Twitter on March 21 2006, he was booted as the company's CEO two years later, but returned in 2015 having set up his second company, Square.

He led the company through the techlash that has engulfed social media companies, testifying before Congress multiple times.

Dorsey announced on November 29, 2021 he had stepped down as the CEO of Twitter.

Dorsey has provoked his fair share of controversy and criticism, extolling fasting and ice baths as part of his daily routine. His existence is not entirely spartan, however. Like some other billionaires, he owns a stunning house, dates models, and drives fast cars.

Scroll on to read more about the fabulous life of Jack Dorsey.

Rebecca Borison and Madeline Stone contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.

At age 15, Dorsey wrote dispatch software that is still used by some taxi companies.

These days Dorsey doesn't favour the spiky hairdo.

He briefly attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and transferred to New York University before calling it quits.

Nobody else really seemed interested, so he put away the idea for a bit.

He got his license in about 2002, before exploding onto the tech scene.

Odeo went out of business in 2006, so Dorsey returned to his messaging idea, and Twitter was born.

Dorsey kept his Twitter handle simple, "@jack."

Dorsey took out his nose ring to look the part of a CEO. He was 30 years old.

By 2008, Williams had taken over as CEO, and Dorsey transitioned to chairman of Twitter's board. Dorsey immediately got started on new projects. He invested in Foursquare and launched a payments startup called Square that lets small-business owners accept credit card payments through a smartphone attachment.

Dorsey had to remind Obama to keep his replies under 140 characters, Twitter's limit at the time.

In 2014 Forbes pegged Dorsey's net worth at $2.2 billion. On the day it was reported he was expected to resign, Bloomberg's Billionaires Index calculated his net worth at $12.3 billion.

The $1.40 salary actually represented a pay rise for Dorsey, who in previous years had refused any payment at all.

He's far from the only Silicon Valley mogul to have taken a measly salary - Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 a year as CEO of Facebook.

This helped Square employees, giving them more equity and stock options. It was also helpful in acquiring online food-delivery startup Caviar.

"Now he's able to say, like, 'The BMW is the only car I drive, because it's the best automotive engineering on the planet,' or whatever," Twitter cofounder Biz Stone told The New Yorker in 2013.

The house has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which Dorsey views as a marvel of design.

In an interview with journalist Kara Swisher conducted over Twitter, Dorsey said he worked every Tuesday out of his kitchen.

Dorsey said Musk's tweets are, "focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly."

He added that he enjoys all the "ups and downs" that come with Musk's sometimes unpredictable use of the site. Musk himself replied, tweeting his thanks and "Twitter rocks!" followed by a string of random emojis.

Dorsey told Rolling Stone about the meal, which took place in 2011. Dorsey said the goat was served cold, and that he personally stuck to salad.

Appearing on a podcast run by a health guru who previously said that vaccines caused autism, Dorsey said he eats one meal a day and fasts all weekend. He said the first time he tried fasting it made him feel like he was hallucinating.

"It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down," he said.

The comments drew fierce criticism from many who said Dorsey was normalizing eating disorders.

Dorsey would regularly don leather jackets and slim suits by Prada and Hermès, as well as Dior Homme reverse-collar dress shirts, a sort of stylish take on the popped collar.

More recently he favors edgier outfits, including the classic black turtleneck favored by Silicon Valley luminaries like Steve Jobs.

Dorsey seems to care less about looking the part of a traditional executive these days.

In 2016, Banks posted on her now-deleted Twitter account that Dorsey sent her his hair, "in an envelope." Dorsey later told the HuffPo that the beard-posting incident never happened.

On his travels, Dorsey meets heads of state, including Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.

Dorsey tweeted glowingly about a vacation he took to Myanmar for his birthday in December 2018. "If you're willing to travel a bit, go to Myanmar," he said.

This came at the height of the Rohingya crisis, and Dorsey was attacked for his blithe promotion of the country — especially since social media platforms were accused of having been complicit in fuelling hatred towards the Rohingya.

In a bizarre Huffington Post interview in 2019, Dorsey was asked whether Donald Trump — an avid tweeter — could be removed from the platform if he called on his followers to murder a journalist. Dorsey gave a vague answer which drew sharp criticism.

Following the interview's publication, Dorsey said he doesn't care about "looking bad."

"I care about being open about how we're thinking and about what we see," he added.

Dorsey and Sandberg were asked about election interference on Twitter and Facebook as well as alleged anti-conservative bias in social media companies.

Dorsey was in the hot seat for several hours. His heart rate peaked at 109 beats per minute.

Dorsey appeared via videoconference at the Senate hearing on Section 230, a part of US law that protects internet companies from legal liability for user-generated content, as well as giving them broad authority to decide how to moderate their own platforms.

In prepared testimony ahead of the hearing, Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 would "collapse how we communicate on the Internet," and suggested ways for tech companies to make their moderation processes more transparent.

The accusations from Republican lawmakers focused on the way Twitter enforces its policies, particularly the way it has labelled tweets from President Trump compared to other world leaders.

Dorsey took the brunt of questions from lawmakers, even though he appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

During the hearing, the length of Dorsey's beard drew fascination from pundits.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1pc5LU_0LcEZz6w00
Dorsey had to address accusations of censorship. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS

Some users referred to Dorsey's facial hair as his "quarantine beard," while others said it made him look like a wizard.

—rat king (@MikeIsaac) October 28, 2020

—Taylor Hatmaker (@tayhatmaker) October 28, 2020

"Jack Dorsey's beard is literally breaking Twitter's own face detection," posted cybersecurity blogging account @Swiftonsecurity.

—SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 28, 2020

Comments / 229

Tom Tom jones
11-30

Anyone care to ask themselves why the vast majority of the Elites are stepping down from their positions ??? What do they know ? Whatever it is they are not sharing with us, the dummies with their heads buried in the phones and tablets 24/7

Reply(13)
63
Juanita Byram
11-30

This man, who has everything many aspire to, is lost…he searches continually for that “Nirvana” he desires yet is unsatisfied. Maybe a few hours on his knees praying to the One a true God would ease his unsatisfied existence.

Reply(4)
27
Angie Van Deven
11-30

I got rid of Twitter over a year ago. I am a much happier and well-adjusted person because of that decision. Twitter is nothing but a tornado vortex of hate.

Reply(6)
25

Comments / 0