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Parag Agrawal is the new Twitter CEO after Jack Dorsey steps down

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  • The resignation of Jack Dorsey, who has been heading Twitter as its chief executive since 2015, will come into effect immediately.

Twitter co-founder and chief executive officer Jack Dorsey on November 29 stepped down from his position, ending his nearly 16-year stint with the social media giant. The company’s Board has unanimously appointed Twitter’s chief technology officer Parag Agrawal as his successor.

The resignation of Dorsey, who has been heading Twitter as its chief executive since 2015, will come into effect immediately. However, he will remain a member of the Board till around May 2022 to enable a smooth transition.

“I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey said in a statement.

The 45-year-old outgoing CEO expressed faith in his successor, Agrawal, who had joined Twitter in 2011 and was appointed as the company’s CTO in 2017.

“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,” Dorsey said.

Before joining Twitter – between 2006 and 2010, Agrawal was involved in large-scale data management research with collaborators at firms such as Microsoft Research, Yahoo! Research, and AT&T Labs.

In terms of education, Agrawal had pursued degrees in B.Tech and Computer Science from IIT Bombay, one of the top institutes of India. He later pursued PhD in Computer Science from the prestigious Stanford University in California.

As CTO in Twitter, Agrawal has been responsible for the microblogging site’s technical strategy, heading initiatives to improve development velocity and advancing the state of machine learning across the company.

Before being elevated as the CTO, Agrawal had emerged as Twitter’s first Distinguished Engineer due to his successful efforts in revenue and consumer engineering. The re-acceleration of audience growth in 2016 and 2017 is also counted among his contributions.

In a statement issued shortly after he was announced as the new CEO, Agrawal said he is grateful to Dorsey for the “mentorship” received over the past decade.

“I am honoured and humbled. And I’m grateful for your (Dorsey’s) 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,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Twitter, in addition to Agrawal’s appointment as the new CEO, announced that Bret Taylor, a member of the company’s Board since 2016, has been named the Independent Chair of the Board with immediate effect.

The company, founded in 2006, has seen a steady surge that has been credited to the leadership which included Dorsey among those at the helm. Since October 2015, when he had taken over as the CEO, Twitter’s shares have jumped cumulatively by 85 percent, according to CNBC.

Dorsey, however, has faced criticism from a section of experts who consider that he has devoted more time for Square Inc, the digital payments firm which he had co-founded and has been leading as its CEO since 2009.

A few investors in Twitter have, over the past couple of years, questioned whether he is suited to head the company while also leading Square.

Hedge fund Elliott Management Corp was vocal in demanding Dorsey to step down in early 2020, alleging that he was paying inadequate attention to Twitter while simultaneously running Square.

 

(Source: Money Control)

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