- Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, announced Monday that he would step down as CEO
- Parag Agrawal is the new CEO of Twitter.
- Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal joins the elite group of global tech CEOs.
Twitter Inc. announced on November 29, 2021, that Jack Dorsey has decided to step down as CEO. He will step down effective November 29, 2021. Parag Agrawal, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, has been unanimously appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors, effective November 29, 2021. Till his term ends at the end of 2022, Dorsey will continue to serve on the Board of the Company as a non-employee director.
Jack Dorsey announced his resignation on Monday, replacing Parag Agrawal as CEO. This move has been in the works for months. Earlier this year, rumors circulated that the Twitter board was considering replacing Jack Dorsey. After a thorough search, it seems the Twitter board appointed an internal candidate. Paraga, who was previously Twitter’s CTO, has taken over as the company’s CEO effective immediately.
Jack Dorsey Tweets
not sure anyone has heard but,
I resigned from Twitter pic.twitter.com/G5tUkSSxkl
— jack⚡️ (@jack) November 29, 2021
In a letter he posted on Twitter, Dorsey said, I have chosen him for quite some time because of his deep knowledge of the company and its needs.”. Parag has been responsible for every critical decision that has transformed the company.
Parag Agrawal in response said,
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 💙 https://t.co/eNatG1dqH6 pic.twitter.com/liJmTbpYs1
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) November 29, 2021
In 2011, Agrawal joined Twitter as a machine learning engineer specializing in artificial intelligence. He became its technology chief in 2017.
Who is Parag Agarwal?
Parag holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. His education began at Atomic Energy Central School. Parag’s mother was a teacher before she retired. His father held senior positions in the atomic energy sector.
The Twitter Chief Technology Officer (CTO) has served as CTO since October 2017 and joined the company in 2011. As the company’s CTO, he has been responsible for developing the company’s technical strategy, improving development velocity, and expanding the capabilities of machine learning across the company. The first Twitter Distinguished Engineer, Parag, was instrumental in re-accelerating Twitter’s audience growth in 2016 and 2017 and Twitter’s impact on revenue and consumer engineering.
Before becoming CTO, Parag was Twitter’s Distinguished Engineer.
Parag’s wife, Vineeta, is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, where she manages investments in biotech companies, including diagnostics, therapeutics, and digital health. Additionally, the VC has a medical degree from Harvard, a doctorate from MIT, and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford. The couple has a young son of three years.
Agrawal told Twitter staff on Monday that his priorities as CEO include improving working conditions and helping the company achieve its “ambitious goals.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a tweet on Monday afternoon.
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) November 29, 2021
Parag Agrawal has been with Twitter for more than a decade and holds the title of Chief Technology Officer. His duties included leading projects to make tweets in users’ timelines more relevant to them using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Earlier, Agrawal was appointed to find a leader for Project Bluesky, a project launched by Twitter to create open and decentralized standards for social media platforms. As Dorsey previously stated, the Bluesky platform will help social media companies collaborate on how their content is promoted to users, giving users more control over what information they see. Bluesky could also provide social networks with an easier way to enforce hate speech restrictions and defend themselves against abuse, essentially helping them share the load at a lower cost.
Besides saying how he plans to address Twitter’s biggest challenge, Agrawal has shared how he’ll deal with moderation. In a 2020 interview with MIT Technology Review, Agrawal said that Twitter’s role is to create a safe space for online conversation, but adding that this could come at the expense of allowing people to express themselves freely. He said his organization’s role is not to be bound by the First Amendment but to facilitate a productive public discussion.
However, his organization doesn’t mean removing every misconception. As Agrawal puts it, Twitter’s goal is avoiding the “specific harm that misinformation can cause” rather than determining what information is true and incorrect. This is because, as Agrawal says, “defining misinformation is very, very difficult.”
The Tesla CEO was responding to Stripe’s CEO Patrick Collison, who tweeted that six US tech giants have Indian-origin CEOs. Tesla’s Elon Musk has reacted to the hiring of Parag Agrawal as CEO of Twitter he said
USA benefits greatly from Indian talent!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 29, 2021
Twitter announced that Parag will receive $1 million in annual compensation as well as $12.5 million in stock compensation as CEO.
Agrawal may not be the most well-known candidate for running Twitter. Still, he has extensive experience with the company, technical capabilities, and past work enabling modernization of Twitter’s tech stack, making him an interesting choice for the CEO, especially as decentralized blockchain technology becomes more prominent.