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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey resigns, making way for Indian-born engineer

Written by Nikkei Asia Published on     2 mins read

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CTO Parag Agrawal has done ‘transformational’ work, ‘leads with heart and soul.’

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has resigned, the social media giant said Monday, becoming the second founder of a major American tech company to step down as chief executive in recent months.

The board unanimously appointed chief technology officer Parag Agrawal as his successor, effective immediately, according to a press release.

Agrawal becomes the latest Indian-born engineer to take the reins at a Big Tech company, following Satya Nadella at Microsoft and Sundar Pichai at Google parent Alphabet.

Dorsey’s exit follows Jeff Bezos’ departure in July as CEO of Amazon.com.

“I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey said in the release. He said it was time for Agrawal, whose “work over the past ten years has been transformational.”

“He’s curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware, and humble,” Dorsey wrote of Agrawal in a tweeted-out companywide email. “He leads with heart and soul, and is someone I learn from daily. My trust in him as our CEO is bone deep.”

Dorsey co-founded Twitter in 2006, growing the microblogging platform into a must-use messaging tool for politicians and decision-makers around the world.

He was forced out of the top seat by Twitter’s board at one point but returned in 2015. While the social media platform gained prominence as former President Donald Trump’s main platform for communication before he was banned, the company’s earnings and share price paled beside those of other Big Tech players, casting doubt over Dorsey’s effectiveness.

Last year, activist investor Elliott Management sought to replace him.

With their founders no longer CEOs at the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, formerly Facebook, remains the last one standing.

Dorsey will remain on Twitter’s board until his term ends at the 2022 shareholders meeting, the company said.

Agrawal has been with the company for more than a decade and has served as chief technology officer since 2017.

“I want to thank the board for their confidence in my leadership and Jack for his continued mentorship, support, and partnership,” he said in the press release. “I look forward to building on everything we have accomplished under Jack’s leadership and I am incredibly energized by the opportunities ahead. By continuing to improve our execution, we will deliver tremendous value for our customers and shareholders as we reshape the future of public conversation.”

As CTO, Agrawal has been responsible for Twitter’s technical strategy, including advancing the state of machine learning across the company. He 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.

This article first appeared on Nikkei Asia. It’s republished here as part of 36Kr’s ongoing partnership with Nikkei.

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