Parag Agrawal has been with the company for ten years. He is currently the company’s chief technology officer. A prominent and politically volatile position in Silicon Valley has been taken by him. Why is he the new CEO of Twitter, and what can we expect under his leadership?
37-year-old Indian immigrant Agrawal stands outside the ranks of celebrity CEOs, including the man he’s replacing, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Tesla’s Elon Musk.
Twitter’s biggest backers, however, were looking for someone with a solid technical background as well as little name recognition.
CFRA Research analyst Angelo Zino wrote that Agrawal is a “safe” choice who should be viewed favorably by investors. According to Dorsey, Twitter shareholders Elliott Management had pressed him to resign.
The next four years are likely to see more of the same from Twitter in terms of policy and direction, experts say. This includes plans to continue the company’s recent strategy to double revenue by 2023 and rebuild the way social media companies work.
The company’s strategy of hitting ambitious goals is bold and right according to Agrawal, in an email to employees. “Our key challenge is how we implement it and deliver results.”
It faces a number of challenges, including slow user growth as competitors such as TikTok and Instagram attract younger users. It also continues to face misinformation and hate speech issues.
According to Jill Wilson, Esquire Digital’s chief marketing officer, Agrawal will largely continue where Dorsey left off, battling for users lured away by TikTok and Instagram.
Twitter needs Agrawal’s help in keeping the platform relevant and getting the everyday user on board, as well as monetizing it.
Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006, led it through a high-profile hack and Donald Trump’s controversial ban, which tested Twitter’s enforcement of hate speech and misinformation rules.
There have continued to be problems with hate speech and misinformation since the Trump presidency, and Agrawal is stepping up to take on the moderation role that Dorsey has been criticized for in recent years.
According to Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the platform needs to stop being a tool that is hijacked to manipulate the news agenda, create fake popularity, and provide a warped view of the world.
Reuters reports Dorsey had been CEO of both Square and the social media platform simultaneously but will now concentrate on Square as well as other pursuits, such as philanthropy.
Bret Taylor, Salesforce’s new chairman of the board, and Dorsey’s belief in Twitter’s “ambition and potential” prompted Dorsey to write to employees on Monday about his decision to step down.
“I am really sad, but also very happy,” he wrote. The number of companies reaching this level is very small, he said, adding that he chose to step down.
During the past year, the company has been criticized for its slow rollout of new features for its 211 million users and for losing ground to competitors.
Dorsey led Twitter to acquire email newsletter service Revue and to launch its new audio chat feature Spaces.
Nevertheless, recent share price declines have added pressure on Dorsey to end his unusual arrangement of being CEO of two companies.
As the company’s chief executive officer, Agrawal has already seen the rigors of the job firsthand.
Conservatives have since uncovered a tweet he sent in 2010 in which he asked: “If they cannot distinguish between Muslims and terrorists, why should I distinguish between white people and racists?”.”
According to some Twitter users, the 11-year-old tweet was quoting a segment from The Daily Show in which Juan Williams was fired for making a remark about being nervous about Muslims on an airplane.