Cover Photo: Twitter

Did you know that Parag Agrawal has been at Twitter for the last 10 years and that he started as a humble engineer there?

Twitter is getting a new chief executive officer (CEO) as Jack Dorsey steps down from the role and hands the reins over to chief technology officer Parag Agrawal, Twitter announced on November 29.

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Agrawal will be taking over the company from Dorsey who co-founded Twitter in 2006, and who was instrumental in bringing the social media platform to where it is today.

Just recently, Dorsey oversaw the launch of new ways to create content through newsletters and audio conversations on the app. 

Dorsey will remain on the board until his term expires at the 2022 annual shareholder meeting while Agrawal’s appointment will take effect immediately, according to Twitter. 

Agrawal’s appointment signals a tacit endorsement by the board of a strategy the company laid out recently to double its annual revenue by 2023.

After the announcement, Twitter shares surged nearly 10 per cent and closed down 2.7 per cent.

Agrawal, who was born in India, was a relatively obscure member of the United States tech giant for the 10 years that he was working at Twitter until he took over as chief technology officer in 2017.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Twitter’s new top man. 

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1. He was from Stanford University

Originally from Mumbai, India, Agrawal proved that he was smart beyond his years from the very start. 

In 2001, he won a gold medal at the 2001 International Physics Olympiad held in Turkey. He then went on to place 77th in the Joint Entrance Exam.

Agrawal then received his undergraduate degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2005.

He later moved to the United States where he pursued a PhD in computer science from the prestigious Stanford University.

2. He stared his career in Microsoft

Did you know that Twitter was not the first big tech company Agrawal worked at?

In fact, the engineer held on to a research role at Microsoft from June 2006 to September 2006, and then from June 2009 to September 2009. 

He also did a stint at Yahoo in 2007 and at AT&T Labs in 2010. He took on similar research roles at each of these companies. 

3. He joined Twitter as a software engineer

In 2011, Agrawal joined Twitter as Twitter’s first distinguished software engineer as a result of his experience and success in revenue and consumer engineering over his career. 

He was a key player in the reacceleration of audience growth in 2016 and 2017 on Twitter during his six years in this position and remained a highly valuable member of the team.

4. He was appointed chief technology officer at Twitter in 2017

In 2017, Agrawal was promoted to chief technology officer (CTO) at Twitter.

As CTO, he was in charge of the company’s technical strategy and he led his team to improve development velocity while also advancing the state of machine learning across the company.

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5. He has a young and small family

In 2016, Agrawal married his longtime partner, Vinita Aggarwal. Vinita is a physician and assistant clinical professor at Stanford School of Medicine.

They currently live in San Franciso together with their young son, Ansh. 

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