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Twitter's Jack Dorsey confesses that 'maybe' he wanted to 'screw' over co-founder

A mostly glowing profile on the Twitter creator captures at least one moment of tangible bitterness between Dorsey and one-time Twitter CEO Evan Williams.

Jack Dorsey's lengthy profile in The New Yorker reads like Dorsey's choreographed public response to Nick Bilton's soon-to-be published, unflattering biography.
James Martin/CNET

Twitter's founding story, no matter which version you believe, is one filled with backstabbing and betrayal. Though self-proclaimed inventor Jack Dorsey would have us believe that the stories aren't as salacious as have been reported, he divulged to The New Yorker reporter D.T. Max that he harbored feelings of ill will toward Twitter co-founder and one-time CEO Evan Williams.

The admission comes in a lengthy profile on Dorsey in The New Yorker entitled "Two-Hit Wonder." The profile -- a counterpoint to the unflattering portrait painted by New York Times reporter Nick Bilton in his soon-to-be published book "Hatching Twitter" -- reads like Dorsey's choreographed public response to allegations in the book, such as his orchestrating the ousting of Twitter's lesser-known creator Noah Glass.

But a seemingly sincere Dorsey makes at least one appearance toward the end of the article when he reflects on Williams' firing -- who became CEO after pushing Dorsey out. Dorsey says he didn't intentionally set out to have Williams axed, as alleged, nor as the silent chairman did he have the power to do so. But Dorsey does confess feelings of lingering acrimony.

"Was I thinking, Screw Ev? Emotionally, was I asking that? I don't know. Maybe," Dorsey recounted to The New Yorker.

It's one of the only candid admissions in the piece that encapsulates the tension and turmoil at Twitter in its early days. The story in its entirety, however, elevates Dorsey as a man of mystery, intrigue, and genius. Perhaps it's only coincidence that the mostly glowing profile of Dorsey has surfaced only a week after Bilton's story portrayed him as a cunning man hungry for power.