Image courtesy of The New York Times
By Noelia Veras
Chief Executive Officer of Twitter Jack Dorsey stepped down from his role on Monday, November 29. Dorsey is the co-founder of the social media platform, and the announcement was a shock to Silicon Valley. Parag Agrawal, the company’s chief technology officer, is taking over Dorsey’s role.
“There aren’t many companies that get to this level. And there aren’t many founders that choose their company over their own ego,” Dorsey said.
The announcement came in the form of a tweet where Dorsey said “not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter.” He attached the official email he sent to the staff onto the post which announced his resignation. In the email he said that Twitter should “stand on its own, free of its founder’s influence or direction.”
This comes just after Jeff Bezos stepped down from Amazon as the CEO and Mark Zuckerberg announced a rebrand and pivot in Facebook Co., renaming the company Meta. Evidently, some sort of shift has occurred for these media moguls. The New York Times draws this comparison between the shifting tides of the careers of social media company CEOs.
“They seem to be getting bored and restless with their jobs, and they’re striking out in search of adventure,” according to The New York Times in reference to the tech moguls.
In Dorsey’s announcement, he did make sure to emphasize his trust in Agrawal. Agrawal is a 37-year-old computer scientist and according to CNBC he joined Twitter a decade ago, working his way up to technology chief in 2017.
“The board ran a rigorous process considering all options and unanimously appointed Parag,” Dorsey wrote in the email. “He’s been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs.”
Agrawal also tweeted about the resignation and thanked Dorsey for the opportunity.
“Deep gratitude for @jack and our entire team, and so much excitement for the future. Here’s the note I sent to the company,” Agrawal said. “Thank you all for your trust and support.”
The tweet included an email he sent to the entire staff where he mentioned his own earlier experience as an employee for Twitter.
“I’ve walked in your shoes, I’ve seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the mistakes,” the email said. “But then and now, above all else, I see Twitter’s incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us.”
Dorsey will, however, stay on the board of the company until May of 2022. The company has rigorous standards for growth, so while this leadership change might not affect it in a short-term manner, it might have lasting impacts.
“If you stand back and you think about who’s had a big influence on social media over the past decade, the name Jack Dorsey is always going to come up,” said Tim Hubbard, an assistant professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, according to The New York Times.
Dorsey’s resignation has ignited some theories about what his new venture will hold, with many assuming he will jump into something related to Bitcoin, in which he has been notoriously very interested and invested.
Overall, this news has been shocking and impactful in Silicon Valley, as people have associated Dorsey and his eccentricities with Twitter and the image of the platform. What is obvious is that there is a clear but, as of right now, indefinable shift in the tech industry, to which Dorsey’s departure only adds.