Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will step down as head of the social media platform he co-founded a decade and a half ago, the company said on Monday.
Board member and former CTO Parag Agrawal has been appointed CEO, effective immediately, and Dorsey will remain a member of the board until his term expires at the meeting of directors. shareholders next year, the company said.
“I have decided to quit Twitter because I think the company is ready to leave its founders,” Dorsey said in a statement released by Twitter. “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 skills, his heart and his soul. It’s time for him to lead. ”
Dorsey warned of the potential pitfalls of a company founder who stays too long.
“There is a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘run by its founder’,” Dorsey said. “At the end of the day, I think it’s severely limiting and it’s just one point of failure. ”
He added, “And there aren’t many founders who choose their business over their own egos. I know we will prove it was the right decision. “
CNBC was the first to report Dorsey’s departure on Monday.
Dorsey remains CEO of Square, his digital payments company. Dorsey is the only person who is the CEO of two public companies with market valuations exceeding $ 5 billion.
In his statement, Dorsey did not mention Square or the pressure from investors that drove him to choose one of the leadership positions.
“I want you all to know it was my decision and I take it on,” Dorsey said. “It was of course difficult for me. I love this service and this company.«
Dorsey’s exit ends a five-year run at the top of the social media company, during which he helped energize his users and oversaw the implementation of a variety of new features meant to expand his reach and tackle issues such as abuse and misinformation.
In 2020, investment firm Elliott Management launched a campaign to remove Dorsey as CEO of Twitter.
Elliott Management offered its vote of confidence in the move on Monday, with Agrawal becoming CEO and chairman of Salesforce and COO Bret Taylor becoming chairman of the Twitter board.
Taylor will succeed Patrick Pichette, a former Google executive, who will remain on the board as chairman of the audit committee.
“Twitter is the world’s leading medium for real-time conversation and engagement, and our collaboration with Jack and the company over the past two years has been productive and effective,” said Jesse Cohn, Managing Partner of Elliott Management and the Senior Portfolio Manager. Marc Steinberg.
“Twitter is now executing an ambitious multi-year plan to dramatically increase the reach and value of the business, and we look forward to the next chapter in Twitter history. Having gotten to know both new chairman Bret Taylor and new CEO Parag Agrawal, we are confident that they are the right leaders for Twitter at this pivotal time for the company. “
In February, Twitter announced in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it aims to have 315 million monetizable daily active users by the end of 2023 and at least double its annual revenues that year. .
Twitter had 192 million monetizable daily active users and $ 3.7 billion in annual revenue at the end of 2020, according to the company’s last quarter earnings report.
Despite being a 10-year-old employee with one of the most senior positions in Twitter, Monday’s announcement would be the introduction of Agrawal to many people.
He promised to follow through on the company’s major plans.
“We recently updated our strategy to achieve ambitious goals, and I think this strategy is bold and fair,” he said in a statement. “But our biggest challenge is how we work to get there and get results – this is how we will make Twitter the best it can be for our customers, our shareholders and for each of you. “
Twitter shares initially rose sharply following news of Dorsey’s exit, but its stock price fell throughout the afternoon to end down around 2.7%.