Get to know Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s longtime CTO and now the social network’s newly appointed CEO
Twitter's new CEO wants the social network to move a lot faster than it has in the past, and we're here for it.
Twitter's co-founder and long-serving CEO, Jack Dorsey, has recently resigned, and he has handed the reins to Twitter veteran Parag Agrawal, the company's longtime chief technology officer.
"I've decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders," Dorsey wrote in an email to Twitter's staff, which he also tweeted on November 28.
No additional information on why he decided to resign was provided in the announcement.
As for his decision to appoint Agrawal as the new CEO, Dorsey said, "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. Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around. He's curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware, and humble. He leads with heart and soul and is someone I learn from daily. My trust in him as our CEO is bone deep."
Meanwhile, Agrawal humbly responded to the announcement with a tweeted screenshot of his email to the Twitter staff as well, "Deep gratitude for Jack [Dorsey] and our entire team, and so much excitement for the future."
Who is Parag Agrawal?
Here are things you should know about Twitter's newest CEO
He is an IIT-Bombay alumnus with experience from big companies.
Agrawal is one of the many Indian-origin engineers from the highly competitive Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) colleges who achieved undeniable success in the U.S. He studied computer science and engineering at the IIT-Bombay. After earning his bachelor's degree, he moved to the U.S. in 2005 and completed his doctorate in computer science from Stanford University in 2012.
While he was pursuing his doctorate prior to joining Twitter in 2011, the 37-year-old Indian-American tech genius gained internship experience at Microsoft, AT&T, and Yahoo. According to his LinkedIn page, Agrawal mainly focused on research during his brief at the said companies.
He worked his way up over the past decade.
Agrawal joined Twitter as a software engineer who worked on the company's advertising team a decade ago. According to his bio, he "had risen to be Twitter's first Distinguished Engineer due to his work across revenue and consumer engineering, including his impact on the re-acceleration of audience growth in 2016 and 2017."
In October 2017, he was appointed as Twitter's chief technology officer and led its technical strategy. As CTO, he has helped in the development of its A.I. and machine learning technology and the management of its cryptocurrency initiatives. In addition to this, he also worked on Twitter's migration to cloud servers in 2018 and spearheaded Bluesky, a tech project that started in 2019 which aims to create decentralized technical standards for social media platforms that would allow content posted on one service to work across multiple social networks.Fast forward to 2021, and he is now Twitter's new CEO.
He is not much of a Twitter user.
Agrawal doesn't tweet much, even if he's been on the platform for over 13 years. The new CEO only has 3,243 tweets, mostly just retweets, comments on company policy, and a total of 285 photos and videos at the time of publication. He also had a relatively small follower count before becoming the new CEO of Twitter, which quickly changed after the announcement as he now has over 390,000 followers.
He is a husband to a venture capitalist physician and a father to a three-year-old boy.
Parag Agrawal is married to Vineeta Agrawal, and they have a three-year-old son.
Vineeta is an adjunct clinical professor at Stanford School of Medicine and a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm that has been involved in the IPO of Airbnb, Facebook, GitHub, Instagram, Lyft, Pinterest, Roblox, Slack, and Zynga.
He joins the growing list of Indian-American immigrants running the largest tech firms in the U.S.
With his appointment as Twitter's new CEO, he is now among the list of Indian-born tech wizards occupying offices at the top of the building of the world's most influential Silicon Valley companies, which includes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Adobe president and CEO Shantanu Narayen, and IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.
Finally, Agrawal is now the youngest CEO in the S&P 500.
Although the 37-year-old Agrawal is the same age as Meta Platform Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter confirmed he was born later in 1984 than Zuckerberg, whose birthday is May 14. The social network, however, did not disclose Agrawal’s date of birth.
Agrawal has only been Twitter’s CEO for only 12 days today, and he has already made big changes with a major reorganization of the company. The new CEO sees the executive reshuffle, which mainly impacts Twitter’s Consumer, Revenue, and Core Tech divisions, to drive increased accountability, speed, and operational efficiency. The mentioned divisions will be led by Kayvon Beykpour, Bruce Falck, and Nick Caldwell, respectively.
Meanwhile, engineering lead Michael Montano and head of design and research Dantley Davis will be stepping down from their respective post effective December 2021. Still, they will both remain an advisor of the company through the end of the first quarter of 2022 to ensure an orderly transition.
Agrawal also tapped Lindsey Iannucci as chief of staff and vice president of operations to help in strengthening operations across the leadership team and the company.