It might not be the sort of business situation that gets the attention it deserves, but the idea of the part-time CEO is actually a somewhat common concern in American business.
Companies may ask for time commitments of a year or more to make sure that executives don’t just flit in and out of a corporate role, but there are fewer protections against that person padding his or her schedule with additional consulting projects, side jobs or other distractions.
Today we have reporting on a high-profile example of this controversy with Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, who is apparently under the microscope as new investor Elliott Management raises concerns about his performance.
“The activist investor (EM) has acquired a roughly 4 percent stake in Twitter, and has reportedly expressed concerns with Twitter’s underperforming stock, its part-time CEO, and Dorsey’s stated plans to decamp to Africa for an unspecified period of time this year,” writes Casey Newton at The Verge this morning.
In his defense, Dorsey argues that he was able to focus Twitter’s efforts during his tenure. Dorsey also spoke up regarding his advertised plan to spend “part of the year” in Africa after some criticism from various quarters.
“For a part-time CEO to announce that, on second thought, he will continue to run the company from headquarters instead of a different continent is generally not cause for acclaim,” Newton writes. “But given the threat Dorsey now faces to his leadership, it represented a meaningful concession.”
Newton also lays out a collection of horror stories about Elliott Management to illustrate how this thing could play out
Just yesterday, we were reporting on how Dorsey’s Square initiative is providing grant funding to Bitcoin projects. Is it these types of extracurriculars that are sandbagging this leader in his day job? Will Dorsey’s panoramic pursuits edge him out of the driver seat at Twitter?