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The Washington Independent

Jack Dorsey Resigns And Names Parag Agrawal As New Twitter CEO

Jack Dorsey Resigns And Names Parag Agrawal As New Twitter CEO

Just after Thanksgiving Day, Jack Dorsey found himself thanking an extra special bunch of people. By “extra special” we mean the people he worked with for nearly 16 years. Dorsey’s thanking them, by the way, because he’s leaving Twitter.

Paolo Reyna
News
Dec 01, 2021

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A few days after Thanksgiving Day, Jack Dorsey found himself thanking an extra special bunch of people. By “extra special” we mean the people he worked with for nearly 16 years.

To be more specific, the same people who contributed in making the company he co-founded become the multibillion-dollar business that it is today. The same company which also made him a multibillionaire in the process.

Dorsey’s thanking them, by the way, because he’s leaving Twitter.

As with any chief executive officer who decided to step down, a time for such a crucial announcement will come. For Dorsey, it came on November 29, 2021.

On that day, he tweeted: “not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter.”

It was followed by a copy of the email he sent to employees, where Jack Dorsey stated that Twitter’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Parag Agrawal will replace him as CEO.

Why Did Jack Dorsey Resign?

Jack Dorsey

In the said email, Jack Dorsey explained that he yearned for Twitter to “break away from its founding and founders.”

Dorsey said that he diligently pursued it because of his contrasting view against the popular opinion that a founder should be the one who leads the company he/she founded. He deemed that such a notion is “severely limiting and a single point of failure.”

We wonder what Mark Zuckerberg, 37, who has been the CEO of Facebook – now Meta – since 2013 when he was 28, might say about this.

Going back to Dorsey, the 45-year-old goatee-wearing entrepreneur believed it was an opportune time for him to finally tender his resignation after serving Twitter in various roles – “from co-founder to CEO to Chair to Exec Chair to interim-CEO to CEO.”

Dorsey cited three reasons: Parag Agrawal, Bret Taylor, and the whole Twitter workforce.

In short, he’s assured to leave Twitter at the hands of people he firmly believes “have the potential to change the course of this company for the better.”

Dorsey praised Agrawal and Taylor in their first-rate work performance and placed his confidence on their respective expertise and leadership capabilities.

Taylor, Facebook’s ex-CTO (2009-2012), will replace Patrick Pichette as chairman of the board, reported The Associated Press. Pichette shall stay as part of the board.

Based on their respective LinkedIn profiles, Pichette, Google’s former chief financial officer (2008-2015), became a board member of Twitter in December 2017. He was appointed as board chairman in June 2020.

Taylor joined Twitter in July 2016 as a board member.

Bret Taylor

On November 29, 2021, Taylor congratulated Agrawal and thanked Jack Dorsey via Twitter. He ended his tweet by saying: “Today is an exciting day for Twitter and all of our stakeholders.”

And, Taylor’s right: morning trading revealed that Twitter shares soared “5% to $49.47,” according to The Associated Press, after Dorsey’s resignation went public.

Twitter has a market value of $35.03 billion as of November 2021, according to CompaniesMarketCap.com.

What Others Think About His Resignation

Jack Dorsey

In his article for Vanity Fair, British-American journalist Nick Bilton revealed that after talking to some former and current key people in Twitter, he learned that Jack Dorsey might not have voluntarily resigned. He either was forced to step down or got kicked out.

Dorsey will also leave the Twitter board in May 2022.

Bilton noted that when Bill Gates (Microsoft), Larry Page and Eric Schmidt (Google), and Evan Williams (Twitter) resigned as CEO, they remained board members.

Aside from Twitter, Dorsey is busy with Square as CEO of this financial services company he co-founded and with cryptocurrencies and Bitcoins, said Bilton.

Investors demanded for “a full-time CEO,” according to one of the people Bilton talked to.

The same person added that Jack Dorsey might have foreseen that the board or the investors – or both – “would force him out as CEO” because his work performance “wasn’t up to par” for a CEO.

Who Is Parag Agrawal?

Parag Agrawal

In his tweeted email, Jack Dorsey said that after a “rigorous process,” the board “unanimously” selected their 37-year-old CTO.

Parag Agrawal grew up in Mumbai (the former Bombay), India, where he took up Computer Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. He went to America to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford University.

In October 2011, Twitter took Agrawal in and gave him the job title “Distinguished Software Engineer,” according to his LinkedIn profile.

That marks 2021 as his 10th year stay with Twitter – and the year he became its CEO.

Prior to that, the social network company made him CTO in October 2017.

Before Twitter, Agrawal each spent a brief time doing research for Microsoft, Yahoo!, and AT&T.

Excitement But Much, Much Pressure

Twitter headquarters

On November 29, 2021, Parag Agrawal tweeted: “Deep gratitude for @jack and our entire team, and so much excitement for the future.”

That excitement hopefully won’t be completely washed away by the pressure that might come along with Twitter’s recent goals, which it aims to achieve in the next three years.

In its SEC filing dated February 25, 2021, Twitter declared that it seeks to “reach at least 315 million mDAU” or monetizable daily active users in the fourth quarter of 2023. Apparently, it aims for a bigger profit.

In 2020, Twitter gained an annual revenue of $3.7 billion.

The microblogging service company wants to “at least double” it in 2023 and make “$7.5 billion or more.”

It’s now up to Parag Agrawal, Bret Taylor, and the rest of the team to work on these goals.

Conclusion

Twitter app

Now that the gargantuan task of running Twitter is out of his hands, Jack Dorsey could now concentrate more on his other business endeavors.

If Dorsey won’t comment about the issues surrounding his resignation, at least he admitted that Parag Agrawal “did it better” than him in terms of navigating one’s career in Twitter.

Perhaps he realized that stepping down could be the best for the company he co-founded in 2006.

Just a day before he made his trending resignation announcement, Jack Dorsey tweeted: “I love twitter.”

Paolo Reyna | Paolo is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in International Studies with a Latin American emphasis. During the fall semester of 2012, he had the opportunity to study abroad in Peru, which piqued his interest in international growth. He learned about the disparities that impact indigenous peoples, got a taste of Peruvian culture, and improved his Spanish skills. Mitchel interned with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, conducting research on food security in Latin America, after being inspired by his foreign experience. He wants to work in international development and for a government department, writing legislation. He loves playing intramural basketball and practicing for the Chicago marathon when he is not thinking about current events in Latin America.

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