Parag Agrawal has been elevated as Twitter CEO on November 29, after co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down from the role. Agrawal joins the elite list of global tech CEOs from India such as Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Google’s Sundar Pichai, IBM's Arvind Krishna, Adobe's Shantanu Narayen and VMWare's Raghuram.
Agrawal, who joined the company in 2011, served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) since October 2017. In this role, he has been responsible for the company's technical strategy, and its efforts to improve development velocity while advancing the state of machine learning across the company.
Dorsey, in a letter he posted on Twitter, said, “He (Agrawal) has been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs. Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around.”Agrawal in response said, “Deep gratitude for @jack and our entire team, and so much excitement for the future. Here’s the note I sent to the company. Thank you all for your trust and support.”
Deep gratitude for @jack and our entire team, and so much excitement for the future. Here’s the note I sent to the company. Thank you all for your trust and support https://t.co/eNatG1dqH6 pic.twitter.com/liJmTbpYs1
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) November 29, 2021
Who is Parag Agrawal?
He is a Computer Science and Engineering graduate from IIT-Bombay and holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University.
Before joining Twitter in 2011, Agrawal was involved in large-scale data management research with collaborators at firms such as Microsoft Research, Yahoo! Research, and AT&T Labs.
In December 2019, Dorsey had also put Agrawal in charge of Project Bluesky, the firm’s decentralized social networking efforts, until it found a leader. In August 2021, Jay Graber was appointed as the leader of Bluesky.
One of his key contributions has been leading the company’s efforts in using artificial intelligence to increase the relevance of tweets in users’ timelines.
What does it mean for Twitter and India?Given that Agrawal is a techie, there is a hope that this could drive more product innovation. Kal Patel, former partner at Vantage Point Venture Partners, said during a Twitter Spaces session that having an Indian-origin CEO could also have an impact on the relationship the company has with the Indian government. It would also be interesting to see the changes the new CEO could bring on moderation on the platform.