After CEO Jack Dorsey’s sudden step-down tweet on Monday, Twitter is all set to welcome its new head-Parag Agarwal.
A move that was apparently months in the making, Agarwal was until now, the CTO of the company. Aged 37, Agarwal has been at Twitter for a while, and, apparently, he is well-liked by Jack Dorsey, one likely factor that helped him clinch the top post at Twitter.
Agrawal is the fourth person to take the reins at Twitter, after Dorsey (who led the company from 2006 to 2008, and again from 2015 until now), Evan Williams (who co-founded Twitter alongside Dorsey and served as CEO from 2008 to 2010), and Dick Costolo (Twitter’s former COO, who served as CEO from 2010 through 2015).
An alumnus of IIT Mumbai, he did his bachelor’s in engineering in computer science and then moved to the US for further studies, with his doctorate coming from Stanford University. Agarwal joined Twitter in 2011. Before that, he briefly worked at Microsoft, AT&T and Yahoo. In all three companies, his work was mostly research-oriented.
Initially, at Twitter, he worked on ad-related products, but gradually he also dabbled in artificial intelligence. In 2017, when he was promoted to the role of Twitter CTO, here is what the company said in a statement: “In his capacity as CTO, he’s focused on scaling a cohesive machine learning and AI approach across our consumer and revenue product and infrastructure teams.”
With respect to Agarwal’s selection, on Monday, Dorsey wrote to his employees, “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.”