Elon Musk’s belated advice for Twitter’s Dorsey on being a dual CEO: Don’t do it

Elon Musk
Dan Taylor (cropped image)
Elon Musk – he knows a thing or two about heading up two big companies at the same time. CEO of carmaker Tesla Motors as well as space transportation company SpaceX, the 44-year-old entrepreneur is forced to engage in some serious multitasking on a daily basis.

Joining the club this week is Jack Dorsey, who on Monday was confirmed as Twitter’s permanent CEO. Dorsey also leads online payments service Square, so before landing the top Twitter job he had to convince the directors on both boards of his plate-spinning abilities.

Now, had Dorsey had any doubts about trying to run two companies simultaneously and called up Musk for the lowdown, what advice would the experienced dual-CEO have given him? Don’t do it, apparently

Speaking at the Vanity Fair Summit in San Francisco on Tuesday, Musk said, “I wouldn’t recommend running two companies, it really decreases your freedom a lot.”

That may be stating the obvious, but coming from someone who’s actually engaged in the process of running two big businesses, it’s crystal-clear confirmation that Dorsey has his work cut out, especially when you consider the multifarious challenges facing Twitter just now.

However, Dorsey does have one obvious advantage over Musk. Whereas the SpaceX/Tesla boss has to travel several times a week between the SpaceX HQ southwest of LA and the Tesla factory northeast of San Francisco, Dorsey’s two companies are so close together that he could virtually open a window and call out decisions without so much as leaving his desk. Either of them.

While Musk recommends careful consideration when making such a big call, Dorsey clearly feels he’s able to take on the dual role, and seems determined to prove he’s up to the challenge. Twitter really needs it to work.


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