Parag Agrawal, the Chief Technology Officer of Twitter is taking over as the new CEO after Jack Dorsey put in his papers last night. As he steps into the role, Agrawal now joins Google CEO Sundar Pichai, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, to name a few, in the Indian-born CEOs of the tech world.
So who is Parag Agrawal? What do we know about him?
Well, he had managed to get 77th rank in the IIT joint entrance exams, following which he had joined the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.
Agrawal had joined Twitter as an employee in 2011 as a software engineer after the completion of his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford.
He was appointed Twitter CTO on March 8, 2018. According to the company statement, he's responsible for the company's technical strategy and it was his work on the use of artificial intelligence to increase relevant tweets we see every day on our timelines that earned him a spotlight within the company.
Prior to being appointed CTO, Parag had risen to be Twitter's first Distinguished Engineer due to his work across revenue and consumer engineering, including his impact on the re-acceleration of audience growth in 2016 and 2017.
He had previously worked for Microsoft, Yahoo! and A&T Labs. Not much is known about his personal life but according to certain reports, his mother was a school teacher and his father worked in Atomic Energy.
He is married to Vineeta Agarwala, a venture capital investor. According to her Twitter account, she is a physician and clinical professor at Stanford Medicine. The couple has a son, who goes by the name, Ansh.
Agarwala's credentials are also extraordinary. She had graduated in biophysics from Stanford University before earning her MD and PhD degrees from Harvard Medical School/MIT. According to reports, she is currently a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, leading investments for the firm’s bio fund across therapeutics, diagnostics and digital health.
Oh, and he is buddies with singer Shreya Ghosal, with whom he attended the Atomic Energy Central School. A few of their conversations on Twitter have actually resurfaced since the news of his appointment as the new Twitter CEO went viral.
@shreyaghoshal Aila. You are influential. Followers and twitter messages flooding in.— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) May 23, 2010
Parag was also the “first choice” of Jack Dorsey who praised him and said “he deeply understands the company and its needs.”
This is what Parag Agrawal said after being appointed as the CEO of Twitter
Thank you, Jack. I'm honored and humbled. And I'm grateful for your continued mentorship and your friendship. I'm grateful for the service that you built, the culture, soul, and purpose you fostered among us, and for leading the company through really significant challenges. I'm grateful for the trust you've put in me and for your continued partnership. Team, most of all, I'm grateful for all of you, and it's you who inspire confidence in our future together. I joined this company 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees. While it was a decade ago, those days feel like yesterday to me. I've walked in your shoes, I've seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the mistakes. But then and now, above all else, I see Twitter's incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us.