After Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced his intentions to step down from his role at the social media giant, he stated that the company’s new CEO would be former Chief Technology Officer, Parag Agrawal.
Almost immediately after the news broke, one of Agrawal’s past tweets surfaced which critics describe as both racist and indicative of a political bias which is likely to continue under Agrawal’s leadership.
In October 2010, Agrawal tweeted, in quotation marks, “If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists.”
The new Twitter CEO https://t.co/tNUTDV5TGB
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) November 29, 2021
Journalist Andy Ngô responded, “Incoming Twitter CEO. Go Figure.” The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles tweeted, “The new CEO of Twitter, ladies and gents.” Newsbusters’ Curtis Houck added, “That, ladies and gentlemen, is the kind of thing a racist would say.”
Agrawal was born in India, and joined Twitter as a Software Engineer in 2011 after a background in Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay and Stanford University. He became Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in 2017.
“Hello team,” Dorsey wrote in an email to Twitter employees that was also posted on his profile. “After almost 16 years of having a role at our company…from co-founder to CEO to Chair to Exec Chair to interim-CEO to CEO…I decided it’s finally time for me to leave. Why?”
“There’s a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘founder-led,’” he continued. “Ultimately I believe that’s severely limiting and a single point of failure. I’ve worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders.”
Dorsey then listed three reasons he believes “now is the right time” to step down. The first reason was the elevation of Agrawal to CEO.
“The first is Parag becoming our CEO,” Dorsey explained. “The board ran a rigorous process considering all options and unanimously appointed Parag. He’s 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. He’s curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware, and humble. He leads with heart and soul, and is someone I learn from daily. My trust in him as our CEO is bone deep.”
Dorsey informed his employees that Agrawal would be starting as CEO immediately, and that Dorsey would continue to serve on the Twitter board through to the end of his term this coming spring to “help Parag and Bret with the transition.”
“And after that…I’ll leave the board,” Dorsey wrote. “Why not stay or become chair? I believe it’s really important to give Parag the space he needs to lead. And back to my previous point, I believe it’s critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder’s influence or direction.”
“I want you all to know that this was my decision and I own it. It was a tough one for me, of course. I love this service and company…and all of you so much. I’m really sad…yet really happy. There aren’t many companies that get to this level. And there aren’t many founders that choose their company over their own ego. I know we’ll prove this was the right move,” Dorsey concluded. “We’ll have an all-hands meeting tomorrow at 9:05 AM Pacific to discuss it all. Until then, thank you all for the trust you’ve placed in me, and for the openness to build that trust in Parag and yourselves. I love you all.”
“PS I’m tweeting this email. My one wish is for Twitter Inc to be the most transparent company in the world. Hi mom!” Dorsey added.
As CNBC noted, Twitter shares were up around 2% following the news.