“We want to develop a new, thriving Indigenous business economy, and we are looking for a return. And we have big ambitions for changing the way traditional funds management has been considered.”
Dorsey this month took on an additional role as CEO of Block’s payments unit Square, a title officially dubbed ‘Square Head’, after the departure of Square CEO Alyssa Henry in February. Dorsey said he will be more active day-to-day in leading the company he co-founded.
Founded in 2009, Square’s first product was a credit card reader for small businesses but the company, now known as Block, has grown into a tech giant comprised of products including person-to-person money transfer app Cash App, music streaming service Tidal and Australian buy now, pay later provider Afterpay.
The executive declined to answer questions relating to his role change at Square or the Afterpay acquisition specifically. Block acquired Afterpay for $39 billion in 2021, a figure that is now close to Block’s entire market capitalisation.
Block’s share price is down around 80 per cent from its peak in 2021, and Dorsey told employees in an all-staff memo that its headcount growth had far outpaced its business and revenue growth.
“It’s not sustainable,” he wrote. “And Square’s number of people has far outpaced our growth and performance. In fact, I believe it’s slowing us down and frustrating everyone. Which is not fair to you all, or our customers.”
Block, which has hundreds of employees in Australia, has initiated a hard cap of 12,000 workers globally and is expected to slash 1000 roles to trim costs.
“So, Square is going to be smaller than we are today by the end of next year. We are going to do so through performance management, scoping our work, and restructuring to remove duplication and redundancy,” Dorsey said in the memo.
“Therefore we will not take a single action, but rather look critically at everything we’re doing and act thoughtfully. You may not be up for the uncertainty or shrinking our team, and want to leave. That’s perfectly reasonable. But I’d rather us provide the information than to work secretly in the dark.”
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