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Meet Twitter’s New CEO – Parag Agrawal

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In 2014, when Jack Dorsey then Twitter’s executive chairman wanted the company to improve its machine learning and artificial intelligence capacity, he called on Parag Agrawal(Twitter’s New CEO). Again, when the company’s infrastructure needed an overhaul Jack Dorsey also called on Mr. Agrawal.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”- Anonymous

Outstanding Leadership When It Matters

5 years later when, the company decided that blockchain and decentralization was the vision for the future, Jack also beckoned to Mr. Agrawal. Therefore, in November when Agrawal was named Twitter’s new CEO, it was only an acknowledgement of his input and leadership behind the scenes. 

Since 2017, Mr. Agrawal has been the Chief Technical Officer for Twitter. The public knows so little about him, and some insiders in Twitter acknowledge that they were surprised by his appointment.  

Notwithstanding, behind the scenes, the Twitter veteran of Indian origin has been a confidant of Jack Dorsey. He has been involved in most of the company’s biggest strategic decisions.

Praise from Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey was superfluous in his praise and acknowledgement of the contribution of Agrawal. The board of Twitter had run a rigorous search for a new leader, and they all agreed to choose him. In his acceptance message, Mr. Agrawal emphasized that he knew the company and had good relationship with its workers. He had joined the company 10 years ago, when the total number of employees was less than 1000.

Mr. Parag Agrawal becomes the latest executive of Indian-origin to take over the affairs of a major American tech company. Microsoft, Google and IBM are some of the companies with leaders from South Asia who are succeeding the founders. To some in Silicon Valley, Agrawal’s promotion was truly the definition of the American dream. It is inspiring to see the success of Indians in the technology world and a good reminder of the opportunity that America offers to immigrants when they work hard.

The Work Ahead of Twitter’s new CEO

Agrawal takes over the leadership of Twitter in a period when the company faces challenges such as placating activist investors and investigations about its censorship of free speech. It is also charged with the responsibility of carrying on the vision of decentralizing Twitter. The plan is to enable users to govern the company, and have a say in the decision-making process. He understands the direction which the company intends to go and the power of the internet. He is positively disposed to giving back control to the users. Also, his deep technical knowledge is not in question.

A short Background

Twitter’s New CEO
Parag Agrawal

Mr. Agrawal was born in Mumbai, 36 years ago. He studied computer science and engineering at the Indian institute of technology. He moved to the United States in 2005 and enrolled at Stanford University to pursue a doctorate. In Stanford he joined the research group focused of databases. 

While at Stanford he stood out for his strong mathematical abilities and computer science theory. I hate focus on databases made him a natural fit for Twitter, where he needed to juggle data coming from millions of people all over the world. He joined Twitter in 2011 before he finished his Ph.D. and rose to be a key member of the engineering team. 

Twitter’s advertising team was one of the first to make use of machine learning by using these techniques, Agrawal and his colleagues developed ways to target adverts precisely and accurately to the users that would need them. This helped to dramatically raise Twitter’s revenue and it raised his profile within the group. He then became a member of the architecture group in Twitter, a team of top engineers that improved the company’s projects under development. 

Undeniable Impact

In 2015 when Dorsey returned as chief executive, he looked to Agrawal to help him refocus the company’s efforts on the timeline that feeds tweets into the users’ application. In 2017 the company promoted Agrawal to the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Over the years Mr. Agrawal has kept a low profile and worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help rebuild Twitter’s technical infrastructure. The infrastructure had been lagging behind over the years. They had engineering problems that prevented the company from introducing new products as fast as they needed. With the help of cloud computing services from Google and Amazon, Agrawal helped Twitter to streamline its operations. 

To achieve better service, Agrawal leveraged Twitter and Google and Amazon cloud computing services They hosted some of their servers on Amazon cloud (AWS) service. This helped them to streamline their services and save costs. He is also involved in a strategic initiative called Bluesky. Bluesky is an initiative for the company to empower more individuals and third parties. It is a company initiative towards decentralized social media. 

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