Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey has resigned from his role and company CTO Parag Agrawal has been unanimously selected by the board as his successor. The company’s board has been preparing for Dorsey’s departure since last year, a source told Reuters. The news comes as Twitter has accelerated the pace of its product innovation over the past year to compete with social media rivals such as Facebook and TikTok, and to reach its goal of doubling annual revenue by 2023.
Dorsey also tweeted to explain his reasons for stepping down as Twitter CEO after 16 years and why Agrawal was fit to lead the company Dorsey co-founded in 2006.
“I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders. My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead,” said Dorsey.
“I want to thank the Board for their confidence in my leadership and Jack for his continued mentorship, support, and partnership,” said Agrawal in a prepared statement. “I look forward to building on everything we have accomplished under Jack’s leadership and I am incredibly energized by the opportunities ahead”.
Agrawal joined Twitter in 2011 and has served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) since October 2017, as per a press statement released by Twitter. Prior to being appointed CTO, the company said Agrawal rose to be Twitter’s first ‘Distinguished Engineer’ due to his work across revenue and consumer engineering. The Indian-origin executive 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.
In addition to Dorsey’s departure and Agrawal taking over as Twitter CEO, the company also announced that Bret Taylor, a member of the Twitter Board since 2016, has been named Independent Chair of the Board.
Shares of the microblogging platform surged 9 percent in early trading, while those of digital payments firm Square, of which Dorsey is also chief executive, were up 3 percent. Trading in the shares was then suspended ahead of an expected announcement.
In his tweet on November 28, Dorsey said: “I love twitter”. The “likes” on that tweet surged to more than 54,000 on Monday.
CNBC was first to report Dorsey’s move.
In early 2020, Dorsey faced calls from Elliott Management Corp to step down, after the hedge fund argued that he was paying too little attention to Twitter while also running payments processing company Square Inc.
Dorsey fended off the pressure by giving Elliott and its ally, buyout firm Silver Lake Partners, seats on Twitter’s board.