Co-founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey is stepping down from his position as chief executive officer of the social media giant.
The surprise change brings to an end Dorsey’s tenure as the CEO of Twitter. He is being replaced by the chief technology officer (CTO) Parag Agrawal.
Dorsey sent the world’s first tweet in 2006. Since then, the platform grew exponentially, to 150 million users worldwide in 2020. Thirty six million of those followers are in the U.S. alone.
Dorsey is also the CEO of the digital payments company, Square. Two of Twitter’s key stakeholders, Elliott Management and the billionaire investor Paul Singer had made public calls for Dorsey to step down either as CEO or Twitter or CEO or Square, rather than continue his dual tenure of both.
While he will no longer be the CEO, Dorsey will remain on the company’s board until the stockholder meeting, to take place in 2022. A change in the Chairman of the Board is set to take place in the 2022 meeting as well, with President and COO of Salesforce Bret Taylor replacing former Google executive Patrick Pichette.
In his announcement, Dorsey said that he is stepping down because he believes Twitter is ready to “move on from its founders.” He proclaimed his deep trust for Agrawal as the new CEO, and praised the CTO for his skillset and contributions to the company thus far over the past decade. Agrawal has been working with Twitter for 10 years, and has served as the CTO since 2017.
Dorsey co-founded Square in 2009 when Twitter had pushed him out of the CEO position. But he returned to the role of top executive leadership in 2015, and has been acting CEOs of the two companies since then. Some questioned whether he was stretched too thin by doing the top role at both companies.