Twitter's former security chief says Jack Dorsey suffered a 'drastic loss of focus' in final year as CEO

Twitter's former security chief says Jack Dorsey suffered a 'drastic loss of focus' in final year as CEO
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.Marco Bello/Getty Images
  • Former Twitter security chief Peiter Zatko says Jack Dorsey suffered a "drastic loss of focus" in his last year as CEO.
  • Zatko makes the claim in an explosive whistleblower complaint published Tuesday by The Washington Post.

Jack Dorsey suffered a "drastic loss of focus" in his final year as Twitter CEO, a whistleblower claims.

Dorsey attended meetings "sporadically," was "extremely disengaged" when he did, and sometimes "did not speak a word," according to a whistleblower complaint filed by Peiter Zatko, Twitter's former head of security.

The wide-ranging complaint, published Tuesday by The Washington Post and CNN, was addressed to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and Department of Justice. It broadly accuses Twitter of information security failures, and of "lying" to prospective buyer Elon Musk about how well it measures spam accounts.

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Zatko's complaint says Dorsey hired him as head of security after Twitter suffered a breach in 2020 in which teenage hackers gained access to multiple high-profile accounts, including those belonging to Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Kim Kardashian.

According to Zatko's complaint, he had six phone calls with Dorsey during a 12-month period in which they worked together, each lasting fewer than 30 minutes. "During these calls, Dorsey cumulatively spoke perhaps 50 words," the complaint says. It adds that the two executives exchanged "a couple dozen text messages" in their time together.


Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO in November 2021. Zatko, who's also known by his hacker name "Mudge," was fired by Twitter in January 2022.

Insider contacted Dorsey for comment via Block, the payment company at which he is currently CEO, although his official title is "Block Head." Block didn't immediately respond.

A Twitter spokesperson said Zatko was fired "for ineffective leadership and poor performance."

The spokesperson added: "What we've seen so far is a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context."

They continued: "Mr. Zatko's allegations and opportunistic timing appear designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers and its shareholders. Security and privacy have long been company-wide priorities at Twitter and will continue to be."