Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal key to Dorsey’s plans to revamp social media

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 know-how, all whereas staying largely out of public view.

Parag Agrawal, who joined Twitter a decade in the past and labored his means as much as know-how 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 course of contemplating all choices and unanimously appointed Parag,” Dorsey wrote, in an e-mail to Twitter staff on Monday that he additionally shared by way of tweet. “He is been my selection for a while given how deeply he understands the corporate and its wants.”

Agrawal has been Dorsey’s closest associate in contemplating the way forward for the Twitter platform, and the 2 have a shared imaginative and prescient for decentralizing social media, in keeping with a former firm government, who requested to not be named to guard confidentiality.

Particularly, Agrawal has been key within the creation of Venture Bluesky, an open-source mission that has tapped some notable crypto builders to construct an open commonplace for social media. The intention is to create know-how and protocols that might permit content material posted on one service to work throughout a number of social networks, much like 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. Whereas 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 giant audiences for his views on crypto, meditation and worldwide journey, Agrawal has been nearly completely 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.

Previous to becoming a member of Twitter in October 2011, Agrawal labored in analysis at AT&T Labs, Microsoft and Yahoo, in keeping with his LinkedIn web page. He accomplished his doctorate in 2012.

Agrawal shall be working an organization with over 5,500 folks, up from fewer than 1,000 when he arrived.

“Whereas it was a decade in the past, these days really feel like yesterday to me,” Agrawal wrote in an email to staff on Monday. “I’ve walked in your footwear, I’ve seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the errors. However then and now, above all else, I see Twitter’s unimaginable impression, our continued progress, and the thrilling alternatives forward of us.”

Early in his tenure on the firm, Agrawal started standing out as a part of the promoting unit. He built-in machine learnings fashions into the adverts and timeline merchandise, strikes that proved extremely precious in Twitter’s development, stated Gopal Rajpurohit, who labored on Twitter adverts as a software program engineer from 2012 till 2018.

Kevin Weil, a former senior vice chairman of product at Twitter who then went to Fb, stated Agrawal has been instrumental in creating Twitter’s core enterprise.

“He is been there for the reason that early days, from constructing a whole lot of Twitter’s early adverts platform, to rating the Twitter timeline, and extra,” Weil stated. “These are all technical initiatives, however 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 know-how, in keeping with his bio

Timothy Chklovski, a former Twitter software program engineer, praised Agrawal’s management type, technical prowess and dedication to Twitter.

“Parag is phenomenal, understands the issues, stays up late to get it finished, mentors others — he is the entire bundle,” Chklovski, who labored with Agrawal from 2012 to 2014, instructed CNBC. “And he lives and breathes Twitter.”

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of web site integrity, tweeted comparable sentiments after the announcement.

“Parag was one of many first engineers I labored with after I began at Twitter (once we have been first engaged on timeline rating),” Roth wrote. “The rigor he brings to each resolution was clear then, and I am delighted to see it acknowledged at present.”

WATCH: Jack Dorsey steps down as CEO of Twitter

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