Jack Dorsey – Twitter and Square
A self-taught computer coder, Dorsey dropped out of New York University in 1999, and gravitated to tech. In 2006, with Ev Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass, he cofounded Twitter and was the company’s chief executive until 2008. At it’s start, Dorsey had built a simple site where users could instantly post short messages of 140 characters or less, known in Twitter parlance as “tweets.” On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey posted the world’s first tweet: “just setting up my twttr.” Since that time, Dorsey has served as CEO, chairman of the board, and executive chairman of Twitter. Twitter vaulted to international prominence after the June 2009 presidential elections in Iran, when thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets to protest the claimed victory of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. When the government blocked text messaging and satellite feeds of foreign news coverage, Iranian Twitter users flooded the site with live updates. A U.S. State Department official even emailed Dorsey to request that Twitter delay its scheduled maintenance so that protestors could keep tweeting. “It appears Twitter is playing an important role at a crucial time in Iran. Could you keep it going?” said a State Department spokesman, describing the call. Twitter complied. He also launched the successful online payment platform Square in 2010. At Twitter, cofounder Dorsey is currently back as CEO since June 2015. Dorsey is also heading payments company Square.