Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has resigned his leadership role at the social media company.
Dorsey will be replaced by Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Parag Agrawal, the company said on Monday.
The surprise move ends Dorsey’s much-criticized tenure as CEO of Twitter and Square, his digital payments company, which led Twitter stakeholders Elliott Management and billionaire investor Paul Singer to ask him to step down. remove from one of these roles.
Twitter shares rose 11% after the news broke on CNBC before being briefly suspended.
The company said Dorsey will step down immediately, but Dorsey will remain on the board until Twitter’s shareholders meeting in 2022.
“I decided to quit Twitter because I think the company is ready to leave its founders. My confidence in Parag as CEO of Twitter runs deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I am deeply grateful for his talent, his heart and his soul. It’s his time to lead, ”said Dorsey.
Agrawal has been on Twitter for a decade and has served as CTO since 2017.
“I would like to thank the Board of Directors for their confidence in my leadership and Jack for his continued mentorship, support and partnership,” said Agrawal.
In her most recent tweet on the site, posted Sunday, Dorsey wrote, “I love Twitter. “
On Monday, in an email to staff, Dorsey wrote that after 16 years at the company, it was time to leave. “There is a lot of talk about the importance for a company to be“ run by its founder ”. At the end of the day, I think it’s severely limiting and it’s just one point of failure, ”he wrote. “I worked hard so that this company could detach itself from its founder and its founders. “
Dorsey said Agrawal was his preferred choice for CEO. “My confidence in him as CEO runs deep,” he wrote. “I want you all to know it was my decision and I take it. “
Dorsey, 45, co-founded the microblogging site in 2006 and posted the world’s first tweet: “I just set up my twttr. “
He co-founded Square in 2009 after being ousted from Twitter’s top job before returning as CEO of the social media company in 2015.
Investors and some staff have questioned Dorsey’s management style and fear he is overly stretched by his roles at both companies. In 2019, he announced his intention to settle in Africa for six months, a move that worried both staff and investors. He abandoned the plan after the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Dorsey also sparked a political storm following Twitter’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump from the platform. He then defended the decision as the “right decision”, but said it also highlighted “one of our failures, in the end, to promote healthy conversation.”
His stakes in Twitter and Square have helped Dorsey amass a personal fortune of more than $ 12 billion, according to Forbes. In April, Dorsey announced he was donating $ 1 billion to coronavirus relief programs, “girls’ health and education” and the Universal Basic Income (UBI) study -om financial payments to people.