Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey is stepping down as the social media firm’s chief executive, and will be succeeded in the role by Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal, effective immediately, according to the company.
“I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey, who helped found the firm in 2006, said in a statement that was released by the firm on Nov. 29. “My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead.”
Agrawal, who has been with Twitter for more than a decade, has been chief technology officer since 2017, a release from the company stated.
The San Francisco-based firm’s board of directors has unanimously approved Agrawal as CEO, according to a Twitter statement. Dorsey, who also is the CEO of payments firm Square, will remain a member of Twitter’s board of directors until next year, when his term expires, the company stated.
“I love twitter,” Dorsey wrote on the social media platform on Nov. 28 ahead of the announcement. He also posted an email that he sent to Twitter’s employees about the departure.
“This was my decision and I own it,” Dorsey wrote. “It was a tough one for me.”
In addition, Bret Taylor was named the new chairman of the board, succeeding Patrick Pichette, who will remain on the board and continue to serve as chair of the audit committee.
Dorsey, 45, faced being ousted in 2020 when Twitter stakeholder Elliott Management attempted to replace him, as Elliott founder Paul Singer had wondered whether Dorsey should run both Square and Twitter.
After helping found Twitter in 2006 with Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams, Dorsey was CEO of the firm until 2008 when he was pushed out of the role. He returned to become the company’s CEO in 2015 after former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down.
Dorsey also faced significant criticism from conservatives and free speech proponents for the platform’s decision to ban then-President Donald Trump in January 2021. At the time, Dorsey acknowledged that “this moment in time might call for this dynamic, but over the long term, it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet.”
For years, Dorsey has appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google executives during televised congressional hearings in which elected officials asked about whether his platform was responsible for the spread of so-called disinformation or whether it actively is silencing viewpoints that are contrary to the mainstream.
On Nov. 29, shares of Twitter closed almost 3 percent lower.