Dorsey steps down, Indian-origin Parag Agrawal takes over as new Twitter CEO

The move is effective immediately, though Dorsey will stay on the board of the social media company until his term expires in 2022.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addresses students during a town hall at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, November 12, 2018. (REUTERS/FILE)
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addresses students during a town hall at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, November 12, 2018. (REUTERS/FILE)
Published on Nov 29, 2021 10:53 PM IST
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ByYashwant Raj

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on Monday stepped down as CEO, and announced that Indian American Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s current chief technology officer, will be taking his place with immediate effect.

Dorsey, who founded Twitter in 2006, announced the changes in a company email that he also posted on Twitter, confirming media reports of his departure. He will continue to serve on the board of Twitter until his term expires in 2022 to help with the transition, before moving on.

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

Agrawal is a computer engineer from IIT Bombay and has been with Twitter for the past 10 years, the last four of which were as the company’s chief technology officer. He started at the company as an engineer in 2011 after stints at AT&T, Microsoft and Yahoo, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Dorsey cited Agarwal’s appointment by the board as one of the reasons for stepping down.

“The board ran a rigorous process considering all options and unanimously appointed Parag,” Dorsey wrote, adding, “He has been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs. He is curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware and humble. My trust in him as our CEO is bone deep.”

Agrawal becomes the newest entrant to the gallery of Indian Americans heading major US tech companies. He joins Google’s Sunder Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen.

Referring to his decision to not stay on the board or become chair, he said he believes it’s really important to give Agarwal the “space he needs to lead”.“I believe it’s critical a company can stand on its own feet, free of its founder’s influence of direction,” he added.

Dorsey said the reason behind sharing this email on Twitter was because he wished for it to become the “most transparent company in the world”.

Dorsey founded the company in 2006, and posted the platform’s first tweet on March 6. The company went public in 2013, five years after he was ousted 2008. He returned to the company in 2015, after the then CEO Dick Costello stepped down. Dorsey launched payment app Square in the time he was away.

The social media giant has 206 million monetizable active daily users worldwide with 24.45 million of them in India.

CNBC was the first to report this development, citing sources.

Stock prices of Twitter went up by 5% in response to the report.

Dorsey faced an ouster move in 2020 when a key shareholder, Elliott Management, called for him to step down from one of the two companies, It dropped the demand in a deal with the company management, according to report.

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