In a surprise and almost sudden move, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter announced that he is stepping down, ceding the position to the company’s Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal, an Indian Institute of Technology Bombay alumnus.
The move is effective immediately, though Dorsey will stay on the board of the social media company until his term expires in 2022, Twitter said in a statement on Monday.
“I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey said in the statement. “My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead.”
Who is Parag Agrawal?
Parag Agrawal joined Twitter in 2011 as an ads engineer and has served as Chief Technology Officer or CTO since October 2017. According to the company statement, as CTO, Agrawal has been responsible for the company's technical strategy, leading work to improve development velocity while advancing the state of Machine Learning across the company.
"Prior to being appointed CTO, Parag had risen to be Twitter's first Distinguished Engineer due to his work across revenue and consumer engineering, including his impact on the re-acceleration of audience growth in 2016 and 2017," Twitter further stated. Before joining Twitter, he did research internships at AT&T, Microsoft and Yahoo.
Agrawal holds a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University and a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.
Taking to Twitter, the new CEO expressed, "Deep gratitude for @jack and our entire team, and so much excitement for the future. Here’s the note I sent to the company. Thank you all for your trust and support."
"Team, most of all, I'm grateful for all of you, and it's you who inspire confidence in our future together. I joined this company 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees. While it was a decade ago, those days feel like yesterday to me. I've walked in your shoes, I've seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the mistakes. But then and now, above all else, I see Twitter's incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us," Agrawal said in a letter to the Twitter team and Dorsey ahead of his meting tomorrow.
Read his full letter here:
"Thank you, Jack. I'm honored and humbled. And I'm grateful for your continued mentorship and your friendship. I'm grateful for the service that you built, the culture, soul, and purpose you fostered among us, and for leading the company through really significant challenges. I'm grateful for the trust you've put in me and for your continued partnership.
Team, most of all, I'm grateful for all of you, and it's you who inspire confidence in our future together. I joined this company 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees. While it was a decade ago, those days feel like yesterday to me. I've walked in your shoes, I've seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the mistakes. But then and now, above all else, I see Twitter's incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us.
Our purpose has never been more Important. Our people and our culture are unlike anything in the world. There is no limit to what we can do together.
We recently updated our strategy to hit ambitious goals, and I believe that strategy to be bold and right. But our critical challenge is how we work to execute against it and deliver results -that's how we'll make Twitter the best it can be for our customers, shareholders, and for each of you. I want you to aLoveWhereYouWork and also love how we work together for the greatest possible impact.
I recognize that some of you know me well, some just a little, and some not at all. Lets consider ourselves at the beginning—the first step towards our future. I'm sure you have lots of questions and there's a lot for us to discuss. At the all-hands tomorrow we'll have lots of time for O&A and discussion. It will be the beginning of ongoing open, direct conversations I wish for us to have together.
The world is watching us right now, even more than they have before. Lots of people are going to have lots of different views and opinions about today's news. It is because they care about Twitter and our future, and its a signal that the work we do here matters. Let's show the world Twitter's full potential!
ftOneTeam Parag "
With the new position, Agrawal joins the biggies of Indian CEOs running the global show. Agrawal now joins Google CEO Sundar Pichai, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, to name a few, in India-born CEO list in the global tech world.
Twitter shares jumped 3.4% at 10:50 a.m. in New York. In an unusually bubbly tech equity market, Twitter has lagged behind its peers, with its shares slumping almost 10% this year, while Meta Platforms Inc., formerly Facebook, has risen 23%.
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