India-born Parag Agrawal Takes Over as Twitter CEO

India-born Parag Agrawal took over as the chief executive officer of Twitter as its cofounder Jack Dorsey stepped down after 16 years at the helm of the San Francisco-headquartered microblogging platform.

Agrawal, an IIT-Bombay alumnus, was the chief technology officer of Twitter before the elevation that caught investors by surprise.

Twitter stock went up by as much as 10% with the news in opening trade.

The two most powerful people at Twitter will now be India born – the other being Vijaya Gadde, its policy and safety lead director.

Agrawal will join the league of several India-born executives such as IBM’s Arvind Krishna, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella to lead large US technology companies that have a presence globally.

Dorsey said the Twitter board of directors ran a rigorous process to look for a successor and "unanimously" appointed Agrawal who will also be appointed to the Twitter’s board. In a letter to Twitter employees that he shared on the platform, Dorsey said Agrawal has "been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around".

"He's (Agrawal) 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 wrote.

Agrawal, who has a PhD in computer science from Stanford University, began his career at Microsoft Research with stints in R&D units of Yahoo and AT&T Labs before joining Twitter as a software engineer in October 2011.

"I joined this company 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees," he wrote to Twitter employees in a letter that was shared on his handle.

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