Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's Jam-Packed Month Includes IPO for Square

Square mentions Dorsey having two jobs could be detrimental.

October 15, 2015, 1:48 PM
PHOTO: Twitter co-Founder Jack Dorsey speaks at a fundraiser in New York, April 24, 2013.
Twitter co-Founder Jack Dorsey speaks at a fundraiser in New York, April 24, 2013.
Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

— -- There's no slowing down for Jack Dorsey.

Less than two weeks after he accepted the CEO position at Twitter, the other company run by Dorsey, payments processor Square, has filed for an initial public offering to raise $275 million. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Square said it plans to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "SQ."

What's noteworthy about the filing is it comes as Dorsey joined the rare dual-CEO club. His job at Twitter was mentioned as one of the risk factors in the filing, noting "this may at times adversely affect his ability to devote time, attention, and effort to Square."

With the IPO filed, Dorsey will have to be prepared to face pressure from investors to prove Square can be profitable, while also addressing concerns about Twitter's strategy for growth. In the filing, Dorsey struck a hopeful note that Square, which gives away its credit card readers in exchange for a 2.75 percent share of each credit card swipe for small businesses.

"The strength of this business is more than the money it generates. The collective power of our millions of sellers sustains a scale from which we can build valuable financial services and marketing services, creating reinforcing and virtuous cycles back to our core business of payments," Dorsey wrote in the filing. "We’ve made getting capital as easy as tapping a button. We replaced pen and paper accounting with real-time insights into sales patterns and customer trends. Everything works together seamlessly to help our sellers make smart decisions for their businesses. When they succeed, we succeed."

In what may be his busiest week this year, Dorsey on Tuesday announced Twitter would lay off 336 people -- approximately 8 percent of its work force -- in order to put the company on a "stronger path to grow."

Many of the cuts impacted Twitter's engineering team, which Dorsey said he believes will "move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team." Engineers will still remain the greatest percentage of Twitter's workforce and Dorsey said other teams would be scaled accordingly.

Investors reacted positively to the news Tuesday morning, with stock prices surging. However, the news of Square's IPO on Wednesday sent shares of $TWTR slipping in after-hours trading. Dorsey's appointment to the position was announced on Oct. 5. The Twitter co-founder initially wasn't in contention since board members had said they were looking for a candidate who could devote all of their time to Twitter.

Peter Currie, who headed the search committee, said that changed when "over time, it became clear to us that Jack was not only meeting but surpassing our expectations of him as interim C.E.O. while running Square," he said in a call with investors.

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