Twitter Inc. made an introspective move by picking Parag Agrawal as its CEO, a low-profile techie to run a social media network that has lagged in the market, delivered new products at a slow pace, and failed to censor dangerous content under leadership long criticized for its split attention. Agrawal, 37, was appointed as co-founder Jack Dorsey’s successor on Monday, following a four-year term as CTO, where he led Twitter’s exploration of blockchain as well as other decentralized innovations. Dorsey, 45, will serve on the board until the end of summer and will continue to lead Square Inc., the payments startup he also co-founded.
While Dorsey is a rich superstar with renowned connections and millions of Twitter followers, Agrawal is relatively unknown who has avoided the spotlight at the contentious social media firm. Dorsey’s passions, such as music and Bitcoin, frequently appeared in his writings and finally made their way into the company’s product roadmap, but he has stopped short of revolutionizing the firm since taking over as CEO for the 2nd time in 2015. Twitter’s next CEO will inherit the company’s political squabbles, including criticisms for its ban on US President Donald Trump and disagreements with India’s party in power. And, he’ll have to set ambitious targets to double customer growth, twofold revenue, and speed-up product execution.
As per Bloomberg statistics, Agrawal is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Agrawal received a bachelor’s degree in computer technology as well as engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, as well as a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University before joining Twitter. As per his LinkedIn page, he has worked in research for Microsoft Corp., Yahoo! Inc., as well as AT&T Corp. He began his career at Twitter as an engineer in 2011 when the firm had less than 1,000 workers. He focused on increasing audience growth and income in that role and was dubbed as Twitter’s first distinguished engineer, according to the firm. As per Twitter’s website, after being designated as CTO in 2017, he supervised the company’s technological strategy, including supervising breakthroughs in machine intelligence.
Agrawal now will take over a firm that has been hesitant to churn out new goods and services for years, however has begun to move quicker, make more purchases, as well as push into areas that may increase the business, such as live audio and subscription. Twitter’s fast growth ambitions were implemented when activist investor Elliott Management Corp. purchased a stake in the firm in early 2020 to put pressure on the organization to get its business up and running. Following early improvements that pleased Elliott in 2020, Twitter declared its ambitions in February 2021 to quadruple its annual income by 2023, and to expand its user-base by 20% annually for the next 3 years. On the bright side, Agrawal’s hiring means that Twitter will have a full-time CEO for the first time in years. One of Elliott’s biggest complaints about the social media network was Dorsey’s role as Square’s CEO.
Numerous executives agreed that the CEO transfer looks to be going more smoothly than the last time Twitter switched CEOs. Twitter stockholders will be counting on Agrawal to steer the company’s revenues and engagement numbers in a more consistent direction. While Twitter’s customer base has been consistently growing Y-o-Y, the firm has been unable to match the development or stock market returns of competitors such as Snapchat parent organization Snap Inc. as well as Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. Since Dorsey’s return in 2015, Twitter shares have increased by 62%, and annual revenue is up 68% from the previous year. In the same period, Meta’s stock has also increased by 260%, and revenues have more than tripled.