Representational Image (Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)
INDIAN-ORIGIN technology executive Parag Agrawal has been appointed as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of social media giant Twitter after its co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down on Monday (29).
The 45-year-old Dorsey was serving as both the CEO of Twitter and Square, his digital payments company. He will, however, remain a member of the board till his term expires at the 2022 meeting of stockholders, the company said.
Salesforce president and chief operating officer Bret Taylor will become the chairman of the board, succeeding Patrick Pichette, a former Google executive, who will continue in the board as the chair of the audit committee.
In a message posted on Twitter, Dorsey said, “After almost 16 years of having a role at our company… from co-founder to CEO to Chair to Exec Chair to interim-CEO to CEO… I decided it’s finally time for me to leave. Why?
There’s a lot of talk about the importance of a company being “founder-led”. Ultimately, I believe that’s severely limiting and a single point of failure. I’ve worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders,” he said.
Agrawal, Twitter’s chief technology officer, who is an IIT Bombay and Stanford alumnus, said in a tweet that he is “honored and humbled” on his appointment and expressed gratitude to Dorsey’s “continued mentorship and your friendship”.
This is the newly appointed CEO of twitter Parag Agrawal and he takes over from Jack Dorsey with immediate effect. pic.twitter.com/2hL02juR6e
Dorsey said there are three reasons he believes now is the right time.
“The first is Parag becoming our CEO. The board ran a rigorous process considering all options and unanimously appointed Parag. He’s been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs,” he said.
“Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around. He’s curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware and humble, Dorsey said. “He leads with heart and soul, and is someone I learn from daily. My trust in him as our CEO is bone deep,” Dorsey added.
Agrawal joined Twitter 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees.
“While it was a decade ago, those days feel like yesterday to me. I’ve walked in your shoes, I’ve seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the mistakes,” he said.
“But then and now, above all else, I see Twitter’s incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us,” he added.
“We recently updated our strategy to hit ambitious goals, and I believe that strategy to be bold and right. But our critical challenge is how we work to execute against it and deliver results – that’s how we’ll make Twitter the best it can be for our customers, shareholders, and for each of you,” he said, adding, “Lots of people are going to have lots of different views and opinions about today’s news. It is because they care about Twitter and our future, and it’s a signal that the work we do here matters.”
Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006, served as its CEO until 2008 before being pushed out of the role. He made a comeback to lead Twitter in 2015 after former CEO Dick Costolo resigned.
Twitter shares jumped 85 per cent since Dorsey took over as CEO in October 2015.