Twitter is having a change of guard once again as CEO Jack Dorsey is expected to step down from his executive role “in the near term.” The mantle will be taken up by Parag Agarwal, the current CTO for Twitter since 2017. 45-year-old Dorsey will soon be stepping down, ending his second stint with Twitter as CEO. Twitter’s shares surged 9% in early trading before halting after the news was revealed, while those of Square rose by 3%.
Twitter has seen frequent changes at the top of its leadership and management since its inception. Dorsey had been serving as Twitter’s interim CEO for several months following the launch of Twitter before he had been forced out in 2008. Following that, he founded his digital payments company Square, of which he is, and continues to be, the CEO. While board members had felt that being the CEO of Twitter should be a full-time job, Dorsey faced significant pressure and resistance from Twitter stakeholder Elliott Management and billionaire investor Paul Singer to step down from one of those roles.
Dorsey had returned to the helm of Twitter in 2015 after former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down, and six years down the line is stepping down from his role.
His successor, Parag Agarwal, who joined Twitter back in 2011, will face an uphill task as he would will need to meet Twitter’s goal to have 315 million monetizable daily active users by the end of 2023 and to at least double its annual revenue in that year.
In his letter announcing his decision, Dorsey said that Parag has been his choice for some time since 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,” Dorsey said.
Agrawal is an alumnus of India’s prestigious IIT Bombay where he studied BTech in Computer Science and Engineering. He completed his PhD from Stanford University.