Money 20/20

Jack Dorsey defends decision to be CEO of both Twitter and Square

Jack Dorsey comments on Twitter and Square
Jack Dorsey comments on Twitter and Square

Jack Dorsey, CEO of both Twitter and Square, said he does not have a problem wearing two hats, because the functions of both companies that he co-founded are "foundational."

Addressing whether it's tough to juggle the challenges of social media and online payments, Dorsey said: "I don't really consider it a shift. I want to work on things that people interact with every single day, and that empower them in particular ways, and finance and commerce is one such [way] and communication is another."

Dorsey took part in a panel discussion moderated by CNBC on Monday night in Las Vegas at Money 20/20, a global conference and trade show focused on payments and financial services innovation.

At a time when Twitter is under siege, Dorsey has endured criticism for also being chief executive of Square. With shares of Twitter off 40 percent in the past 12 months, the company plans to cut 8 percent of its workforce or about 300 jobs, according to a Bloomberg report.

Meanwhile, Twitter said it would report earnings before the bell on Thursday, instead of after the close. The company has also recently sought buyers, but big names such as Alphabet's Google, Disney and Salesforce — which all expressed initial interest — have backed away.

Asked whether he'd ever look to combine Twitter and Square like Elon Musk is aiming to do with Tesla and SolarCity, Dorsey would only say that his companies have "worked together" and "have had partnerships."

Square went public in November 2015, and closed about 45 percent above the offer price on the first day of trading at just more than $13 per share. The stock has been on a roller coaster since then, peaking at nearly $15.50 in the spring of this year but trading below the IPO price of $9 in July. In midday trading Tuesday, Square was under pressure at about $11 per share.

Dorsey said he's learned a lot since taking Square public.

"I think we've done a really good job transitioning from private to a public stage. And it's really hard," he said. "I guess that's my feedback, is making sure that as we look for new vehicles to continue to grow the company, which going public is just another vehicle."