scorecard
  1. Home
  2. tech
  3. news
  4. The wild life of billionaire Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who eats one meal a day, has faced attempted oustings, and is now cleaning up after a colossal hack that took over 130 high-profile Twitter accounts

The wild life of billionaire Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who eats one meal a day, has faced attempted oustings, and is now cleaning up after a colossal hack that took over 130 high-profile Twitter accounts

The wild life of billionaire Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who eats one meal a day, has faced attempted oustings, and is now cleaning up after a colossal hack that took over 130 high-profile Twitter accounts
Tech2 min read
Jack Dorsey at the digital fair dmexco in Cologne, Germany, September 13, 2017.Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Jack Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006, and the company has made him a billionaire.
  • He is famous for his unusual life of luxury, including a daily fasting routine, regular ice baths, and a penchant for dating models.
  • Dorsey holds two CEO jobs at Twitter and Square, and activist investor Elliott Management has threatened to oust him from Twitter.
  • Dorsey is now on damage control following a massive July 15 hack on Twitter that compromised more than 100 accounts, including those of Elon Musk and Barack Obama.
  • A lawmaker is calling for Dorsey to join his fellow tech leaders of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook in an antitrust hearing designed to investigate the firms' monopolistic grip of the market.

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

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

Since then, he has led the company through the techlash that has engulfed social media companies, at one point testifying before Congress alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

His latest threat comes from Elliott Management, an activist investor seeking Dorsey's removal from Twitter, per Bloomberg reporting. The firm holds substantial stock in Twitter and four board seats.

And on July 15, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts, including those of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Kanye West, in a bitcoin scam. The hack exposed the security risks of the platform, and now a lawmaker is calling upon Dorsey to appear in an upcoming antitrust hearing that will feature the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.

Dorsey has elsewhere 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.

Dorsey began programming while attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis.

Dorsey began programming while attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis.
Vine

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

Source: Bio.

When he wasn't checking out specialty electronics stores or running a fantasy football league for his friends, Dorsey frequently attended punk-rock concerts.

 When he wasn

These days Dorsey doesn't favour the spiky hairdo.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Like many of his fellow tech billionaires, Dorsey never graduated college.

Like many of his fellow tech billionaires, Dorsey never graduated college.

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

Source: Bio.

In 2000, Dorsey built a simple prototype that let him update his friends on his life via BlackBerry and email messaging.

In 2000, Dorsey built a simple prototype that let him update his friends on his life via BlackBerry and email messaging.

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

Source: The Unofficial Stanford Blog

Fun fact: Jack Dorsey is also a licensed masseur.

Fun fact: Jack Dorsey is also a licensed masseur.
Getty Images/Bill Pugliano

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

Sources: The Wall Street Journal

He got a job at a podcasting company called Odeo, where he met his future Twitter cofounders.

He got a job at a podcasting company called Odeo, where he met his future Twitter cofounders.
Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams took home the prize in the blogging category at SXSW in 2007.      Flickr via Scott Beale/LaughingSquid

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

On March 21, 2006, Dorsey posted the first tweet.

On March 21, 2006, Dorsey posted the first tweet.
Jack Dorsey's first tweet.      Twitter/@jack

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

Dorsey and his cofounders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, bought the Twitter domain name for roughly $7,000.

Dorsey and his cofounders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, bought the Twitter domain name for roughly $7,000.
Khalid Mohammed / AP Images

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

A year later, Dorsey was already less hands-on at Twitter.

A year later, Dorsey was already less hands-on at Twitter.
Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey.      Wikimedia Commons

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.

Sources: Twitter and Bio.

In 2011, Dorsey got the chance to interview US President Barack Obama in the first Twitter Town Hall.

In 2011, Dorsey got the chance to interview US President Barack Obama in the first Twitter Town Hall.
President Obama talks to the audience next to Jack Dorsey during his first ever Twitter Town Hall.      Reuters

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

Source: Twitter

Twitter went public in November 2013, and within hours Dorsey was a billionaire.

Twitter went public in November 2013, and within hours Dorsey was a billionaire.
AP

In 2014 Forbes pegged Dorsey's net worth at $2.2 billion. As of March of this year he was worth roughly $5.1 billion.

Source: Bio. and Forbes

It was revealed in a 2019 filing that Dorsey earned just $1.40 for his job as Twitter CEO the previous year.

It was revealed in a 2019 filing that Dorsey earned just $1.40 for his job as Twitter CEO the previous year.
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who doesn't earn anything from his primary day job.      David Becker / Getty

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 take a measly salary, Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 a year as CEO of Facebook.

Dorsey does, however, hold Twitter shares worth $557 million at the time of the filing.

Source: Business Insider

He might have been worth more had he not given back 10% of his stock to Square.

He might have been worth more had he not given back 10% of his stock to Square.
Jack Dorsey with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, Veronica Smiley, and Kate Greer at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort in 2013.      Reuters

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

Sources: Business Insider and Caviar

With his newfound wealth, he bought a BMW 3 Series, but reportedly doesn't drive it often.

With his newfound wealth, he bought a BMW 3 Series, but reportedly doesn
Alex Davies / Business Insider

"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.

Source: The New Yorker

He also reportedly paid $9.9 million for this seaside house on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.

He also reportedly paid $9.9 million for this seaside house on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.

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

Source: Business Insider

He works from home one day a week.

He works from home one day a week.
Jack Dorsey's home setup.      Twitter/@jack

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

He also told Kara Swisher that Elon Musk is his favourite Twitter user.

He also told Kara Swisher that Elon Musk is his favourite Twitter user.
Elon Musk is a prolific tweeter.      PewDiePie/YouTube

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.

Source: Business Insider

Facebook CEO and rival Mark Zuckerberg once served Jack Dorsey a goat he killed himself.

Facebook CEO and rival Mark Zuckerberg once served Jack Dorsey a goat he killed himself.
Gene Kim

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.

Source: Rolling Stone

His eating habits have raised eyebrows.

His eating habits have raised eyebrows.
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25

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.

In a later interview with Wired Dorsey said he eats seven meals a week, "just dinner."

Sources: Business Insider, The New Statesman

In the early days of Twitter, Dorsey aspired to be a fashion designer.

In the early days of Twitter, Dorsey aspired to be a fashion designer.
Cindy Ord / Getty Images, Franck Michel

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 favours edgier outfits, including the classic black turtleneck favoured by Silicon Valley luminaries like Steve Jobs.

Sources: CBS News and The Wall Street Journal

He also re-introduced the nose-ring and grew a beard.

He also re-introduced the nose-ring and grew a beard.
Getty

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

Singer Azealia Banks claimed to have been sent clippings of Dorsey's beard hair to fashion into a protective amulet, although Dorsey denied this happened.

Singer Azealia Banks claimed to have been sent clippings of Dorsey
Azealia Banks.      Getty

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.

Sources: Business Insider and HuffPo

Dorsey frequently travels the world and shares his photos with his 4 million Twitter followers.

Dorsey frequently travels the world and shares his photos with his 4 million Twitter followers.
Jack Dorsey meeting Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe.      Twitter/@JPN_PMO

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

Source: Twitter

Tweets about his vacation in Myanmar also provoked an outcry.

Tweets about his vacation in Myanmar also provoked an outcry.
Bagan, Myanmar.      Shutterstock/Martin M303

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.

Source: Business Insider

However, Dorsey says he doesn't care about "looking bad."

However, Dorsey says he doesn
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump welcomes South Korea’s President Moon to the White House in Washington      Reuters

In a bizarre Huffington Post interview, 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 said.

In September 2018, Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

In September 2018, Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey are sworn-in for a Senate Intelligence Committee.      Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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

Source: Business Insider

During the hearing, Dorsey shared a snapshot of his spiking heart rate on Twitter.

During the hearing, Dorsey shared a snapshot of his spiking heart rate on Twitter.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

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

Source: Business Insider

When he's not in Washington, Dorsey regularly hops in and out of ice baths and saunas.

When he
This is not Dorsey's sauna.      Shutterstock

Dorsey said in the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast that he started using ice baths and saunas in the evenings around 2016.

He will alternately sit in his barrel sauna for 15 minutes and then switch to an ice bath for three. He repeats this routine three times, before finishing it off with a one-minute ice bath.

He also likes to take an icy dip in the mornings to wake him up.

Source: CNBC

Dorsey's dating life has sparked intrigue. In 2018, he was reported to be dating Sports Illustrated model Raven Lyn Corneil.

Dorsey
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / YouTube / Getty

Page Six reported in September last year that the pair were spotted together at the Harper's Bazaar Icons party during New York Fashion Week. Page Six also reported that Dorsey's exes included actress Lily Cole and ballet dancer Sofiane Sylve.

Source: Page Six

He's a big believer in cryptocurrency, frequently tweeting about its virtues.

He
Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images

In particular, Dorsey is a fan of Bitcoin, which he described in early 2019 as "resilient" and "principled." He told the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast in March that he was maxing out the $10,000 weekly spending limit on Square's Cash App buying up Bitcoin.

Source: Business Insider and CNBC

At the end of 2019 Dorsey said he would move to Africa for at least three months in 2020.

At the end of 2019 Dorsey said he would move to Africa for at least three months in 2020.
AP Photo/Francois Mori

Dorsey's announcement followed a tour of Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. "Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I'll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020," he tweeted.

Dorsey then came under threat of being ousted as Twitter CEO by activist investor Elliott Management.

Dorsey then came under threat of being ousted as Twitter CEO by activist investor Elliott Management.
Paul Singer, founder and president of Elliott Management.      REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Both Bloomberg and CNBC reported in late February 2020 that major Twitter investor Elliott Management — led by Paul Singer — was seeking to replace Dorsey.

Reasons given included the fact that Dorsey splits his time between two firms by acting as CEO to both Twitter and financial tech firm Square, as well as his planned move to Africa.

Source: Business Insider

Tesla CEO and frequent Twitter user Elon Musk weighed in on the news, throwing his support behind Dorsey.

Tesla CEO and frequent Twitter user Elon Musk weighed in on the news, throwing his support behind Dorsey.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.      REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

"Just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO," Musk tweeted, adding that Dorsey has a good heart using the heart emoji.

Source: Business Insider

Dorsey managed to strike a truce with Elliott Management.

Dorsey managed to strike a truce with Elliott Management.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Twitter announced on March 9 that it had reached a deal with Elliott Management which would leave Jack Dorsey in place as CEO.

The deal included a $1 billion investment from private equity firm Silver Lake, and partners from both Elliott Management and Silver Lake joined Twitter's board.

Patrick Pichette, lead independent director of Twitter's board, said he was "confident we are on the right path with Jack's leadership," but added that a new temporary committee would be formed to instruct the board's evaluation of Twitter's leadership.

On April 7, Dorsey announced that he was forming a new charity fund that would help in global relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On April 7, Dorsey announced that he was forming a new charity fund that would help in global relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Dorsey.      Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images

Dorsey said he would pour $1 billion of his own Square equity into the fund, or roughly 28% of his total wealth.

The fund, dubbed Start Small LLC, will first focus on helping in the fight against the coronavirus disease, which has spread across the globe and infected more than 1.3 million people.

The CEO said he will be making all transactions on behalf of the fund public in a spreadsheet.

On July 15, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts in a bitcoin scam.

On July 15, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts in a bitcoin scam.
Twitter

The accounts of high-profile verified accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian West, and others were hacked, with attackers tweeting out posts asking users to send payment in bitcoin to fraudulent cryptocurrency addresses.

As a solution, Twitter temporarily blocked all verified accounts — those with blue check marks on their profiles — but the damage was done.

The hack is one of the largest of its kind in Twitter's history.

The hack is one of the largest of its kind in Twitter
Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The site's apparent vulnerability to security breaches prompted Republican lawmaker Jim Jordan to ask for Dorsey to join an upcoming antitrust hearing.

It's unclear if he will attend the hearing, which is designed to investigate whether Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google have engaged in anti-competitive business practices to maintain their dominance of the market.

READ MORE ARTICLES ON

Newsletter BI Logo
BI NEWSLETTER

Get your weekly dose of essential news delivered right to you, plus explore a world of insights with our diverse newsletter subscription options.

  • Weekly newsletter
  • Uncover the latest in Tech, Finance, Business, and more
  • Handpicked web stories, in-depth articles, and expert analyses
Copylink BI



Advertisement