New Twitter Boss Parag Agrawal Enters The Limelight
Parag Agrawal started on Twitter as a product engineer and is now the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
It is probably the most important characteristic for assessing a Twitter profile: the number of followers. Measured against this, the new Twitter boss is a little light – only around 24,000 users followed Parag Agrawal before announcing the change in leadership on the platform. With the previous head of the company and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, there are almost six million. Agrawal had so far remained in the background as the company’s technology expert. But now he’s the new number one.
Agrawal (according to various sources 37 or 38 years old) joins the growing list of Indian tech talents taking on leadership positions in US technology companies. At Alphabet, the parent company of Google, the now 49-year-old Sundar Pichai took over the management in 2015, at Microsoft in 2014, the now 54-year-old Satya Nadella.
“He Leads With Heart And Soul”
Agrawal took the lead on Twitter – how could it be otherwise – via tweet. “Thank you, Jack, I’m honored,” he wrote. The technology expert takes up his new position when the company wants to move away from controversial discussions about the limits of freedom of expression – and move towards more impressive profits.
Dorsey praised his successor: “He was behind every critical decision that helped put this company on the right track,” he wrote to the 5,500 employees of Twitter. “He leads with heart and soul, and I learn from him every day. My trust in him is deep. “
Agrawal Specializes In Machine Learning, Cryptocurrencies, And Cloud Technologies
Agrawal studied computer science and engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and then received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in California. He came to Twitter in 2011, and six years later, he took over technical management. In this role, Agrawal dealt with many topics that will continue to play a central role for Twitter: machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) and the Group’s technical strategy.
His focus areas made him an obvious candidate for corporate management, says analyst Carolina Milanesi from Creative Strategies: “AI and ML will become increasingly important in the future to make the platform a healthier and more engaging environment for users, and more profit for the company. “
Twitter Is Not Yet Profitable
Compared to its neighbors in Silicon Valley, Twitter’s profits have so far been meager. The company also experienced significantly less growth than Google or Facebook. The company’s current market valuation is around 36.6 billion US dollars. The company, founded in 2006, was profitable for the first time in 2017 – but since then, the Group has repeatedly slipped into the red.
Twitter also made a name for itself in the discussion about freedom of expression – personified in what is probably the best-known and most controversial Twitter user, former US President Donald Trump. In the public eye, the previous boss Dorsey is best known for his controversial decision to remove the former US president from the platform.
The new company boss Agrawal wants to stay away from such controversies. In an interview with the “MIT Technology Review” in 2020, he said that Twitter should focus less on discussing freedom of expression in the future. He sees the company’s role as a “service provider for a healthy public discussion” – accordingly, Twitter will take the steps that lead there.