In stepping down as Twitter CEO on Monday, Jack Dorsey is handing over the reins to a 37-year-old laptop scientist with a PhD from Stanford who’s had a central function in creating the corporate’s synthetic intelligence expertise, all whereas staying largely out of public view.
Parag Agrawal, who joined Twitter a decade in the past and labored his means up to expertise chief in 2017, will take over as CEO instantly, following Dorsey’s shock resignation. Dorsey described his belief in Agrawal as “bone deep.”
“The board ran a rigorous process considering all options and unanimously appointed Parag,” Dorsey wrote, in an e mail to Twitter staff on Monday that he additionally shared by way of tweet. “He’s been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs.”
Agrawal has been Dorsey’s closest accomplice in contemplating the way forward for the Twitter platform, and the 2 have a shared imaginative and prescient for decentralizing social media, in accordance to a former firm govt, who requested not to be named to shield confidentiality.
In explicit, Agrawal has been key within the creation of Project Bluesky, an open-source challenge that has tapped some notable crypto builders to construct an open commonplace for social media. The purpose is to create expertise and protocols that will enable content material posted on one service to work throughout a number of social networks, related to how emails might be learn utilizing any supplier.
Agrawal represents a stark distinction to Dorsey as the general public face of one of many tech trade’s most high-profile firms. While Dorsey is a famend and, in some circles, infamous determine in Silicon Valley for serving to create a number of profitable start-ups and capturing massive audiences for his views on crypto, meditation and worldwide journey, Agrawal has been nearly totally behind the scenes at Twitter.
Dorsey has 5.9 million Twitter followers. Agrawal had roughly 24,000 earlier within the day, although that quantity soared previous 100,000 by late morning Pacific time.
Prior to becoming a member of Twitter in October 2011, Agrawal labored in analysis at AT&T Labs, Microsoft and Yahoo, in accordance to his LinkedIn page. He accomplished his doctorate in 2012.
Agrawal shall be operating an organization with over 5,500 individuals, up from fewer than 1,000 when he arrived.
“While it was a decade ago, those days feel like yesterday to me,” Agrawal wrote in an email to staff on Monday. “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.”
Agrawal started to stand out early in his profession at Twitter as a part of the corporate’s commercials group. His efforts in pivoting advertisements and timeline merchandise and basing them on machine studying fashions introduced monumental worth to Twitter, stated former colleague Gopal Rajpurohit, who labored on Twitter advertisements as a software program engineer from 2012 till 2018.
“He’s been there since the early days, from building a lot of Twitter’s early ads platform, to ranking the Twitter timeline, and more,” stated Kevin Weil, former Twitter senior vp of product. “These are all technical projects, but they affected the soul of the product too.”
As CTO, Agrawal led the corporate’s technical technique and helped information growth of its A.I. and machine studying expertise, in accordance to his bio.
Timothy Chklovski, a former Twitter software program engineer, praised Agrawal’s management fashion, technical prowess and dedication to Twitter.
“Parag is phenomenal, understands the problems, stays up late to get it done, mentors others — he’s the whole package,” Chklovski, who labored with Agrawal from 2012 to 2014, informed CNBC. “And he lives and breathes Twitter.”
Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of web site integrity, tweeted related sentiments after the announcement.
“Parag was one of the first engineers I worked with when I started at Twitter (when we were first working on timeline ranking),” Roth wrote. “The rigor he brings to every decision was clear then, and I’m delighted to see it recognized today.”
WATCH: Jack Dorsey steps down as CEO of Twitter