Who is Twitter's New CEO Parag Agrawal? Co-Founder Jack Dorsey Steps Down

Jack Dorsey resigned from Twitter and announced his successor, who is an IIT-Bombay alumnus.

Jack Dorsey has resigned from Twitter after 16 years of being part of the company. Dorsey announced the news by posting a screengrab of his resignation mail on his Twitter handle on November 29. According to Twitter, Dorsey will serve on the board until 2022 when his term will expire.

Parag Agrawal, the company's current Chief Technology Officer (CTO), will be taking over from Dorsey as the new CEO. Dorsey noted in his mail that Parag was his choice for the role for quite some time given his deep understanding of the company and its needs and he was voted unanimously for the role by the board. Parag is set to start his tenure as the CEO of Twitter on Monday, November 29.

Parag, in a tweet, expressed his gratitude to Dorsey. "Thank you Jack, I am honored and humbled," Parag wrote in a mail, the screengrab of which he posted on Twitter. He also thanked Dorsey for leading the company successfully through some really significant and hoped to be able to do the same for the company in the future.

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square and CEO of Twitter, speaks during an interview
Jack Dorsey Reuters

Why did Jack Dorsey resign?

Jack Dorsey, who is also the co-founder of Twitter, noted in his mail that it was time for him to step down because the importance of a company being 'founder-led' is severely limiting and could also prove to be a point of failure. Dorsey also announced that Bret Taylor will be the new chairman of the board. Dorsey also pointed that he's not staying as the chair of the board because he wants to give the new CEO, Parag 'the space he needs to lead.' "I believe it is critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," he said.

Dorsey, who co-founded the micro-blogging site in 2006 had received flak during his tenure as the CEO for varying reasons. Dorsey, who led Twitter and Square [a digital payments company] both at the same time, was called upon by Twitter stakeholders Elliott Management and billionaire investor Paul Singer to step down from one of those roles for being too stretched out between the two.

Who is Parag Agrawal?

Parag Agrawal, 45, joined Twitter as an engineer 10 years ago. He has served as the CTO of the company since 2018. Parag is an IIT-Bombay graduate in Computer Science. He moved to the US in 2005 to pursue the Computer Science Ph.D. program at Stanford, during which, he worked as a researcher at Microsoft, AT&T Labs, and Yahoo. Parag joined Twitter in 2011 as Ads engineer. During his time as an engineer at Twitter, Parag has worked on using AI to increase the relevance of tweets on users' timelines.

While serving as the CTO, Parag headed the Project Bluesky at Twitter, which was 'an independent team of open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media that would help better control abusive and misleading information on its platform.'

Parag hinted in his mail that the world is watching them even more than before and that lots of people are going to have lots of different views and opinions about the news. "Let's show the world Twitter's full potential," he wrote.

Parag Agarwal
Parag Agarwal Screen grab - FPJ