Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey today announced he is leaving his role as CEO of the company with immediate effect. The role of Twitter CEO will be filled by ex-Microsoft and Yahoo employee Parag Agrawai, who was previously Twitter’s Chief Technology Officer responsible for "Twitter’s technical strategy and overseeing machine learning and AI across the consumer, revenue, and science teams".
Dorsey posted his resignation email on Twitter itself, stating that he would leave the company totally in the first half of 2022. His reasons for doing so, according to his posted message, are to give new CEO Agrawai the space he needs to operate, and also due to Dorsey’s belief that a company must be able to stand on its own, shorn of founder influence or leadership, which some perceived to be a dig at certain other CEOs with cult-like followings. Dorsey also states that the decision, while tough, was his own to make and not driven by outside influence.
Agrawai has also spent time working at Microsoft and Yahoo, which will give him excellent perspective for both success and failure in the tech industry, and led Project Bluesky at Twitter. This is a project, which began in 2019, designed to create a "decentralized social network protocol, such that multiple social networks, each with its own systems of curation and moderation, can interact with other social networks through an open standard".
Dorsey will remain on the Twitter board until May of 2022, to oversee the transition away from his leadership. Existing board member Bret Taylor will take over the chair position on the Twitter board, with Dorsey expressing his ‘bone deep’ trust in Agrawai, and stating that readers have ‘no idea how happy’ it makes him to appoint Taylor to the chair position.
Twitter has over 1.3B accounts, with more than 353M monthly active users, and a projected 4% growth for the company in 2021, a year they have spent trying to work out more ways to monetise their massive userbase. Some valuations of the company place it’s worth around the $12B mark, with roughly a $3.7B revenue for 2020. The news of Dorsey’s departure saw the value of stock jump by more than 10% at points during the day of the announcement.