Written by Brenda Nakalema

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Steps Down

Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey will step down with immediate effect, the company reported on Monday. Parag Agrawal, the …

Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey will step down with immediate effect, the company reported on Monday. Parag Agrawal, the current chief technology officer, will replace Dorsey as CEO of the social media giant. Jack will remain a member of the board until the expiration of his term.

“I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey said in a recent statement. He concluded by saying that his trust in Parag as Twitter CEO is “deep” and that he has done transformational work in the company over the past 10 years.

The company also made another announcement about current board member Bret Taylor who was named chairman of the board, replacing Patrick Pichette.

Dorsey further explained his decision to step down by highlighting his belief that the company was ready to move on from its founders. In an email to his staff posted on his Twitter account, Dorsey spoke highly of the incoming team and asserted complete trust in their ability to lead the company forward.

“I want you all to know that this was my decision, and I own it,” he wrote on his status.

Parag Agrawal joined Twitter in 2011 as an engineer and rose through the ranks to chief technology officer in October 2017. Before joining Twitter, he worked at Microsoft, Yahoo and AT&T in various research roles. An immigrant from India, he studied at Stanford and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Agrawal also posted his sentiments on his Twitter account, telling staff that he sees Twitter’s incredible impact, continued commitment to progress and “exciting opportunities ahead.

Twitter stock (ticker: TWTR) rose on the back of this news, with shares jumping nearly 11% to $52.05 following the report before the New York Stock Exchange halted trading of the company’s shares. Trading has since resumed, with the stock being down 0.7% at $46.77.

Despite this news sending waves of surprise across the market, it’s not the first time Jack has received this level of attention as a result of being Twitter CEO. In 2020, activist fund Elliot Management attempted to overthrow Jack, citing concerns over how the chief executive managed his time while running two companies.

As he steps down from the throne, Jack leaves behind a fractured legacy owning to his perceived failure to curb hate speech, harassment and other harmful activity on his platform. Twitter found itself in the midst of heated political debate leading up to the 202 elections when it banned former President Donald Trump following his incitement of the Jan. 06 riots at the U.S Capitol.

Although Jack defended the move saying Trump’s tweets after the event risked public safety and created an “extraordinary and untenable circumstance” for the company, most critics say that the company took too long to respond.

Jack has faced much open criticism, not just for his decisions regarding Twitter but also the fact that he’s the founder and CEO of payments company Square. Investors have in the past voiced concern over his ability to handle the leadership of both companies.

Jack Dorsey became Twitter CEO in 2007, but in a story very similar to Steve Job’s, he was forced out the following year. In 2015, he returned to the role. In his parting words, Dorsey said he has “worked hard to ensure the company can break away from its founding and founders” and that to focus on whether companies are led by their founders is “severely limiting.”