Embattled Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down from his position as CEO on Monday. Effective immediately, chief technology officer Parag Agrawal was promoted to become Twitter’s new CEO.
“I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey said in a cryptic statement, according to CNBC.
Dorsey also said in an email that he has known Agrawal would lead the company “for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs.”
Here are the first four facts you need to know about Dorsey’s handpicked successor.
Parag Agrawal Is a Longtime Twitter Employee
Congratulations to our alumnus Dr. Parag Agrawal for being appointed the new CEO of Twitter. Dr. Agrawal obtained his https://t.co/KI2VMHsUbi. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Bombay in 2005. He started working at Twitter in 2011 & became the CTO in 2017.#iitb pic.twitter.com/A0yt37pfUR
— IIT Bombay (@iitbombay) November 30, 2021
Agrawal first joined the staff at Twitter over a decade ago, CNBC reported. While with the company, he has overseen multiple projects aimed at personalizing users’ timelines.
Dorsey also tasked Agrawal with finding someone to lead an initiative called Project Bluesky. CNBC said the project was supposed to “give users more control over the content they see,” as well as help social media platforms enforce hate speech restrictions.
In 2017, Agrawal was named CTO for Twitter. He held that position up until his Monday promotion.
He Is a Public Trump Critic
While former President Donald Trump was in office, the American Civil Liberties Union filed over 400 lawsuits against him, according to a news release. In at least one of those instances, Agrawal donated to the organization for the expressed purpose of supporting a suit against Trump.
In a January 2017 tweet, successful investor and entrepreneur Chris Sacca said he would match donations to the ACLU in support of suing Trump.
— Chris Sacca 🇺🇸 (@sacca) January 28, 2017
In response to that tweet, Agrawal posted a picture of his receipt from his donation to the ACLU.
“Just donated to @ACLU,” he said. “Inspired by your matching, thanks. As an immigrant, I have always believed this country is better than this.”
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) January 28, 2017
Agrawal also indicated in a separate tweet that he agreed with Dorsey’s explanation for banning Trump from Twitter, which suggested Trump or his followers perpetuated “threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter.”
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) January 14, 2021
He Has Come Under Fire for a Different Tweet
After Twitter announced Agrawal as its new CEO, Twitter users began to look through his old tweets. While many people did not raise issue with his views on Trump, one tweet about race has already received backlash.
“If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists,” Agrawal tweeted in October 2010.
“If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists.”
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) October 26, 2010
According to the Washington Examiner, Agrawal later explained he was quoting actor Asif Mandvi from an appearance on “The Daily Show.” That did not stop many social media users from expressing their anger about the original tweet.
This is Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s new CEO and the person who’s going to be deciding what kind of speech is allowed on Twitter: https://t.co/W4HYeNSxlf
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) November 29, 2021
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) November 29, 2021
So, Twitter’s new CEO is a racist. Why am I not surprised? https://t.co/KHFVx3CZGc
— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) November 29, 2021
Parag Agrawal Is 37 Years Old
At 37 years old, Agrawal is now the youngest CEO of an S&P 500 company, Bloomberg reported.
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) November 30, 2021
Agrawal was born in 1984, the same year as Meta Platforms, Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Twitter’s Parag Agrawal at 37 just became the youngest CEO in the S&P 500 — pushing Zuckerberg, born earlier in 1984, to second-youngest spot https://t.co/JhV8Rs9KmE
— Bloomberg (@business) November 30, 2021
While Twitter declined to give Agrawal’s exact date of birth due to safety concerns, Bloomberg reported he was born later than Zuckerberg’s birth date of May 14.
After he took the reigns at such a young age, it remains to be seen where Agrawal will take the social media giant as he settles in as Twitter’s new CEO.
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