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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Parag Agrawal to be New CEO of Twitter replacing Jack Dorsey

Indian-American Parag Agrawal, the company’s chief technology officer, is taking over as CEO effective immediately.

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey resigned from his post as chief executive of a communications company, which immediately took office. Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief technology officer, will take over, the company said on Monday.

Twitter shares closed 2.74% on the day.

Dorsey, 45, worked as CEO of Twitter and Square, his digital payment company. Dorsey will remain a board member until the end of his term at the 2022 shareholders’ meeting, the company said. Salesforce President and COO Bret Taylor will chair the board, succeeding Patrick Pichette, a former Google executive, who will sit on the board as chairman of the research committee.

“I have decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move forward with its founders,” Dorsey said in a statement, although he did not provide further details as to why he had decided to resign.

Agrawal, 37, will have to meet Twitter’s aggressive internal targets. The company said earlier this year it aims to have 315 million daily active users by the end of 2023 and at least double the annual revenue for that year.

Agrawal, who has served as CTO since 2017, has been with Twitter for more than a decade. He had a strategy that included machine-learning and machine learning skills and led projects to create tweets in the timeline of the most important users.

Agrawal was also tasked with finding the leader of Project Bluesky, a research project launched by Twitter to establish open and shared standards for social media. Dorsey had previously said that Bluesky will help social media companies work together in a way that posts are promoted to users and will give users more control over the content they see. Bluesky can also make it easier for social media to impose restrictions on hate speech and other forms of harassment, essentially helping them share the burden at a lower cost.

Agrawal hosted research internships at AT&T, Microsoft and Yahoo prior to joining Twitter.

Dorsey said in an email he posted on Twitter that Agrawal had made his decision to lead the company “for a long time considering that he had a deep understanding of the company and its needs.”

Dorsey was almost fired last year when Elliott Management took part in Twitter seeking to fill his vacancy. Elliott Management founder and billionaire investor Paul Singer wondered if Dorsey should run both public companies. The singer has asked Dorsey to step down as CEO of one of them before the investment company reached an agreement with Twitter management.

Elliott released a statement in Monday’s news, noting that his collaboration with Jack and Twitter over the past few years has had positive results.

“Twitter is now working against a multi-year plan to dramatically increase the company’s reach and value, and we look forward to the next chapter of the Twitter story,” said company CEO Jesse Cohn and portfolio CEO Marc Steinberg. “Now that we know both future Chairman Bret Taylor and forthcoming CEO Parag Agrawal, we are confident that they are the rightful leaders of Twitter at this crucial time in the company.”

Dorsey, who founded the social media platform in 2006, served as CEO until 2008 before being removed from office. He also took to Twitter in 2015 after former chief executive Dick Costolo resigned.

Twitter shares have risen 85% since Dorsey took over as CEO on Oct 5. 2015. Square stock has risen by 1,566% since it first went public publicly on Nov. 19, 2015.

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