Who is Taking Over for Jack Dorsey at Twitter?

Sarah HallamOrg Charts

Early Monday morning, Twitter employees woke up to an email from founder and long-acting CEO Jack Dorsey announcing his resignation, effective immediately.

CTO Parag Agrawal will take Dorsey’s place as chief executive, and current Twitter board member and Salesforce President and COO Bret Taylor will replace Dorsey as Board Chair in May. Dorsey is remaining on the Board until then to help guide his two successors through the transition process.

“Why not stay or become Chair?” Dorsey wrote in his memo. “I believe it’s really important to Parag the space he needs to lead..I believe it’s critical for a company to stand on its own, free of its founders influence or direction.”

For months, investors and employees alike have been questioning Dorsey’s judgement on everything from how much money the company makes to how Twitter regulates what speech is allowed on the platform. Dorsey’s decision to step down on his own marks an inflection point in his career. In 2008, he was fired from the top position, but returned in 2015 to lead the company once again.

“I want you all to know that this was my decision and I own it,” Dorsey said in the email. “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 is the right move.”

Dorsey will continue to lead as the CEO and Chairman of his fintech unicorn Square, which rivals Stripe for market share of popular payment processing tools it gives small businesses.

Now that its founder whose name is synonymous with the company is gone, The Org explored who is taking over the reins and leading the social media platform into a new era.

Twitter Org Chart Parag Agrawal

It doesn’t seem to be a mistake that both of Dorsey’s replacements also come from robust engineering backgrounds.

According to Dorsey’s email memo, the Twitter Board conducted a “rigorous” search for a new CEO and unanimously decided on Agrawal.

“Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around,” Dorsey said in the memo. “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.”

Like Dorsey, Agrawal also started his career as a software engineer. Originally from India, Agrawal joined Twitter back in 2011 when there were fewer than 1,000 employees. He quickly rose through the ranks to become the company’s first Distinguished Software Engineer due to his work across revenue, consumer engineering and his impact on the re-acceleration of audience growth in 2016 and 2017.

He was appointed to CTO in October 2017 and was responsible for Twitter’s technical strategy, leading work to improve deployment velocity and machine learning at the company. As CEO, Agrawal will take on the pressures that Dorsey faced in a world consumed by social media and the heightened spread of misinformation.

“The world is watching us right now, even more than they have before,” Agrawal wrote in an email response to Dorsey’s memo. “Our purpose has never been more important.”

It is still unclear who is taking over Agrawal’s team as CTO. But Michael Montano, Twitter’s Global Engineering Lead, has absorbed the technical team in the interim. Montano has also been with the company for a decade, joining when his own app, BackType, was acquired by Twitter in 2011. He’s led teams across the platform, advertiser products and the consumer product.

His direct reports include Joy Su, VP of Engineering and Nick Turnow, Platform Lead—who is part of the engineering leadership team and runs his own 800-person organization.

Dorsey’s decision to transition off the company’s board of directors means board member Bret Taylor will step into the role of Chairman. Taylor has served on Twitter’s board since July 2016, and his day job as President and COO of Salesforce keeps him pretty occupied. Taylor used to be CTO of Facebook, and is credited with inventing the “like” button. He also used to work as an engineer at Google, where he co-created Google Maps.

“I asked Bret to join our board when I became CEO, and he’s been excellent in every way,” Dorsey said in the memo. “He understands entrepreneurship, taking risks, companies at massive scale, technology, product, and he’s an engineer. All of the things the board and the company deserve right now.”

Other board members include former CFO of Google, Patrick Pichette and Co-Director of Stanford’s Human Centered AI Institute Fei-Fei Li.
Much of the public scrutiny of Twitter has to do with content regulation on its platform. Dorsey has been a staunch advocate for free speech during his tenure as CEO, but also rather famously banned former President Donald Trump’s account after the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

One of the biggest challenges Agrawal will face as CEO is leading Twitter through the public discourse surrounding politics, free speech and censorship. Aiding him is Vijaya Gadde, Head of Legal, Policy and Trust. Gadde joined Twitter the same year Agrawal did, and previously led as legal director where she managed the international and corporate legal teams.

Her new team encompasses both general counsel for the company as well as user trust and safety, which is overseen by her direct report, Del Harvey.

Other team leads surrounding Agrawal in the C-suite include Chief Customer Officer Sarah Personette, who used to work as COO of media brand Refinery29; Head of Global Security Peiter Zaiko, who has led security teams at Stripe, DARPA and Google; CFO Ned Segal who led finance teams for Intuit’s small business group; and Chief Marketing Officer and Head of People Leslie Berland.

All eyes will be on Agrawal as he gears up to take over a new chapter at Twitter. Seeing how much the company explores cryptocurrency and Web3, two passion points for Dorsey, will be curious, as well as who Agrawal surrounds himself with in leadership.

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