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How an Indian Engineer Became CEO of Twitter: 5 Things to Know About Parag Agrawal

Hailing from IIT Bombay, Parag Agrawal’s appointment as the new Twitter CEO comes after a decade of him working with the company.

Parag Agrawal was named as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Twitter on 29 November. This Indian-origin techie joins the likes of Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai in becoming the head of an international organisation.

Parag takes over from Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006. Jack in a publicly posted memo to Twitter staffers said “my trust in [Agrawal] as our CEO is bone-deep”. In the same memo, he also described Parag as a curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware and humble person. The 45-year-old said, “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.”

Parag also took to Twitter to thank Jack and said, “I joined this company 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees. While it was a decade ago, those days feel like yesterday to me. I’ve walked in your shoes, I’ve seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the mistakes. But then and now, above all else, I see Twitter’s incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us… Our purpose has never been more important. Our people and our culture are unlike anything in the world. There is no limit to what we can do together.”

Here’s five things to know about the new CEO of Twitter:

  1. Parag is a computer science and engineering graduate from IIT Bombay who then went on to do his PhD from Stanford University.
  2. Between 2006-2010, he was involved in large-scale data management research.
  3. He has worked in companies like Yahoo, Microsoft and AT&T Labs before joining Twitter a decade ago in 2011.
  4. Parag joined Twitter in the capacity of a Distinguished Software Engineer and rose to occupy the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in 2017.
  5. He was also put in charge of Project Bluesky, the firm’s decentralised social networking efforts.

In his first memo as CEO, Parag wrote, “I recognise that some of you know me well, some just a little, and some not at all. Let’s consider ourselves at the beginning — the first step towards our future.”

While many Twitter users were quick to congratulate Parag on this news, Shreya Ghosal, a childhood friend of Parag also tweeted her congratulations.

Parag
Shreya Ghoshal and Parag, with their spouses.

(Edited by Yoshita Rao)

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