New Twitter CEO steps from behind the scenes to excessive profile

Newly named Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has emerged from behind the scenes to take over one in every of Silicon Valley’s highest-profile and politically unstable jobs.

However his prior lack of identify recognition coupled with a strong technical background seems to be what some massive firm backers had been in search of to steer Twitter out of its present morass.

A 37-year-old immigrant from India, Agrawal comes from exterior the ranks of movie star CEOs, which embody the person he is changing, Jack Dorsey, Fb’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla. These brand-name firm founders and leaders have usually been within the information – and on Twitter – for exploits past the day-to-day working of their corporations.

Having served as Twitter’s chief know-how officer for the final 4 years, Agrawal’s appointment was seen by Wall Avenue as a alternative of somebody who will deal with ushering Twitter into what’s broadly seen because the web’s subsequent period – the metaverse.

Agrawal is a ‘protected’ choose who ought to be appeared upon as favorably by buyers,” wrote CFRA Analysis analyst Angelo Zino, who famous that Twitter shareholder Elliott Administration Corp. had pressured Dorsey to step down.

Elliott launched an announcement Monday saying Agrawal and new board chairman Bret Taylor had been the “proper leaders for Twitter at this pivotal second for the corporate.” Taylor is president and chief working officer of the enterprise software program firm Salesforce.

Agrawal joins a rising cadre of Indian-American CEOs of huge tech corporations, together with Sundar Pichai of Google mother or father Alphabet, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and IBM’s Arvind Krishna.

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He joined San Francisco-based Twitter in 2011, when it had simply 1,000 workers, and has been its chief technical officer since 2017. On the finish of final yr, the corporate had a workforce of 5,500.

Agrawal beforehand labored at Microsoft, Yahoo and AT&T in analysis roles. At Twitter, he’s labored on machine studying, income and client engineering and serving to with viewers progress. He studied at Stanford and the Indian Institute of Expertise, Bombay.

Whereas Twitter has high-profile customers like politicians and celebrities and is a favourite of journalists, its person base lags far behind outdated rivals like Fb and YouTube and newer ones like TikTok. It has simply over 200 million each day energetic customers, a typical trade metric.

As CEO, Agrawal must step past the technical particulars and take care of the social and political points Twitter and social media are combating. These embody misinformation, abuse and results on psychological well being.