Who is Parag Agrawal, the CEO In Firing Line After Elon Musk's Twitter Takeover?
Parag Agrawal had taken over as the CEO of Twitter Inc after Jack Dorsey's resignation from the company.
Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
(This story was first published on 29 November 2021 and has been updated and republished from The Quint's archives in light of Elon Musk sealing a deal to acquire Twitter for $44 billion.)
Twitter Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Parag Agrawal's future at the social media platform is suddenly in doubt after Tesla CEO Elon Musk's $44 billion takeover of the company, sealed on Monday, 25 April.
Agrawal, who took over after Jack Dorsey's resignation from Twitter, had been chosen unanimously by the board to replace Dorsey as CEO as the latter left after 16 years with the company he founded.
Dorsey had endorsed Agrawal before leaving, writing on Twitter, "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."
However, Musk does not appear to share this trust, having stated in a securities filing on 14 April that he does not have confidence in Twitter's management.
With Musk's takeover, Twitter will become a privately held company after the transaction is completed. He is also expected to bring in his own people, and Agrawal is likely to be among those who go.
Agrawal took to Twitter to react after the deal was sealed, saying that he was deeply proud of the teams.
Who is Parag Agrawal?
Agrawal, who is of Indian-origin, completed his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and also holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University.
According to CNBC, Agrawal completed research internships at AT&T, Microsoft and Yahoo prior to his arrival at Twitter.
He joined Twitter in 2011 and has been the CTO of Twitter since 2017. In Dorsey's departure, he will also become a member of the board now.
Prior to being appointed CTO, Agarwal had been recognised as Twitter's first 'Distinguished Engineer' owing to his efforts across revenue and consumer engineering.
According to the report, Agrawal was in charge of strategy pertaining to artificial intelligence and led projects to allow tweets in users’ timelines to become more relevant. He has also been leading Twitter's Bluesky effort to create an “open and decentralized standard for social media", according to The Verge.
According to a report by Bloomberg, at 37, Agrawal is now the youngest CEO in the S&P 500, as he is just a few months younger than Mark Zuckerberg.
Honoured and Humbled, Says Agrawal
In his statement, Dorsey said that Agrawal has been choice to replace him for a while, given "how deeply he understands the company and its needs", adding that the latter had been behind "every critical decision that helped turn this company around".
He also went on to describe Agrawal as "curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware and humble", adding that his trust in him as CEO is "bone-deep".
In response, Agrawal thanked Dorsey and said that he was thankful to him for having led the company through some significant challenges.
"Thank You Jack. I'm honoured and humbled. And I'm grateful for your continued mentorship and your friendship," Agrawal wrote.
Remembering his time in the company, Agarwal added, "The world is watching us right now, even more than they have before. Let's show the world Twitter's full potential".
In his note to the company, Agrawal added, "I joined this company 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. But then and now, above all else, I see Twitter’s incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us.”
(With inputs from CNBC and The Verge.)
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