Lead 'em then leave 'em: Tech founders who quit

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey joins a long list of tech gurus who've quit the companies they founded. But what makes them step aside -- and is it good for business?

Previous tech founders have stepped down for a variety of reasons, from their health to a desire to pursue other interests. 

Let's take a look:

Jack Dorsey

"There's a lot of talk about the importance of a company being 'founder-led'. Ultimately I believe that's severely limiting," Dorsey said in his resignation letter, posted Monday on the social network he helped set up in 2006.

He ran Twitter from 2007 to 2008 and returned later as CEO after Dick Costolo resigned in June 2015.

For Dorsey, his priorities appear to have shifted to his obsession with cryptocurrencies. His Twitter bio reads simply: "#bitcoin". 

(Photograph:AFP)

Jeff Bezos

After 27 years as CEO, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos stepped down. His resignation is said to be due to his desire to focus on the company's longer-term projects, such as Blue Origin, his rocket venture.

In addition to remaining Amazon's executive chair, he has said he wants to "stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives".

He continues to be the company's largest shareholder, retaining some 10 per cent of Amazon's shares, worth around $180 billion, the bulk of his fortune.  

The computer engineers who built some of the world's biggest websites -- in Bezos' case, in his garage -- have frequently cited the need to pass the baton to seasoned business executives better equipped to run multi-billion-dollar companies. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was suffering from pancreatic cancer when he resigned as Apple chief in 2011, dying just six weeks later.

(Photograph:AFP)

Bill Gates

In 2000, Gates resigned as CEO of Microsoft to concentrate on his philanthropic work.

(Photograph:AFP)

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