Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

It’s a Jack World After All: Disney Names Dorsey to Board


Disney just announced that it had named Jack Dorsey — chairman and co-founder of social communications company Twitter, and CEO and co-founder of Square, the online payments startup — to its board.

Dorsey is the latest big Internet name to become a director at the entertainment giant. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has served on the board for several years. And Dorsey will be replacing Judy Estrin, well-known technologist and former CTO of Cisco, who has been a Disney director for 15 years.

Former Sybase CEO John S. Chen, who is now interim CEO of BlackBerry and had been a senior advisor at private equity firm Silver Lake, also serves on the board.

And, of course, the most important techie: The late and great Steve Jobs of Apple, who sold Pixar to Disney and became its biggest individual shareholder.

No word on whether an animated film focused on Dorsey’s world-famous selfies is in the works.

But, ever the showman, Dorsey posted this tweet from Los Angeles:

Here’s Disney’s statement:

Jack Dorsey Elected to The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors

December 23, 2013 03:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

BURBANK, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors has elected Jack Dorsey, chairman of Twitter Inc. and CEO of Square Inc., as an independent director, effective immediately.

“Jack Dorsey is a talented entrepreneur who has helped create groundbreaking new businesses in the social media and commerce spaces,” said Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The perspective he brings to Disney and its Board is extremely valuable, given our strategic priorities, which include utilizing the latest technologies and platforms to reach more people and to enhance the relationship we have with our customers.”

“I am honored and humbled to join the Disney Board,” Mr. Dorsey said. “Disney is a timeless company, one we all grow up learning from and admiring.”

Mr. Dorsey is the co-founder of Twitter, the social networking and microblogging service that allows users to create and share ideas and information instantly via messages of 140 characters or less. Mr. Dorsey posted the world’s first Tweet — “just setting up my twttr” — on March 21, 2006, and since then Twitter has grown to include more than 230 million monthly active users worldwide who create about 500 million Tweets every day. Prior to becoming Twitter’s chairman in 2008, Mr. Dorsey was president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Dorsey is also chief executive officer of Square, a commerce company he co-founded in 2009. Headquartered in San Francisco, Square provides innovative products and services for local businesses including a mobile credit card reader, an iPad point-of-sale system, an online marketplace, and a wallet application that allows consumers to make payments using their mobile devices.

Mr. Dorsey attended New York University and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Mr. Dorsey will stand for election along with the company’s other directors at the annual meeting on March 18, 2014. Pursuant to the tenure policy in the company’s corporate governance guidelines that limits board service to 15 years, Judith L. Estrin will not be standing for re-election.

“Judy has served Disney shareholders incredibly well during her 15 years of service, and we will miss having her on the Board,” Mr. Iger said. “Her insight and advice on technological innovation and our business, as well as her passion for excellence, have been invaluable to me.” Ms. Estrin, who has co-founded eight technology companies and served as chief technology officer and senior vice president of Cisco Systems Inc., is chief executive officer of JLABS, LLC, a privately held company focused on furthering innovation in business, government and nonprofit organizations.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald