Jack Dorsey has stepped down as CEO of Twitter, the social media platform he co-founded over 16 years ago, and has been succeeded by Parag Agrawal, the company’s chief technical officer.
“I’ve chosen to leave Twitter because I feel the business is ready to move on from its founders,” said Dorsey, who is also the CEO of payments firm Square. “I have a lot of faith in Parag as Twitter’s CEO.”
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To assist with the transition, Dorsey will continue on Twitter’s board of directors until the end of his tenure in 2022. The move was first reported by CNBC on Monday.
The change in leadership comes as Dorsey and Twitter face increased pressure from investors demanding higher profits and politicians worried about the company’s political speech moderation rules. Following Dorsey’s announcement that he planned to spend up to half a year in Africa last year, Elliott Management, an activist investment firm, began putting pressure on him to stand down. The fund eventually reached an agreement with the firm that enabled Dorsey to keep his position as CEO. A $1 billion infusion of additional money from Silver Lake, a prominent technology investor, was included in the acquisition.
After the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot, Twitter not only pushed back against accusations that it censors conservative politicians and commentators, but it also took the unusual step of permanently banning Donald Trump, who was president at the time. This was due to concerns that his remarks could incite violence.
Twitter has experimented more aggressively with new services such as newsletters, live audio, and tipping to entice more users under Dorsey’s leadership. He also presided over the company’s first profit in 2018 and set a target of increasing yearly sales to at least $7.5 billion by 2023. Twitter plans to reach at least 315 million daily active users in 2023, up from 211 million daily users who see advertising now.