Twitter Inc Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey will step down from his role and Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal will become his successor, Twitter announced on Monday.
Dorsey’s departure marks the end of his second CEO stint at the social networking site, and he leaves at a time when Twitter has made headlines for its renewed pace of product launches after years of criticism that the site had fallen behind larger rivals like Facebook and new social media apps such as TikTok in innovation.
Deep gratitude for @jack and our entire team, and so much excitement for the future. Here’s the note I sent to the company. Thank you all for your trust and support 💙 https://t.co/eNatG1dqH6 pic.twitter.com/liJmTbpYs1
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) November 29, 2021
Despite the quickened pace of new features, shares of Twitter have slumped in recent months, adding pressure on Dorsey to end his unusual arrangement of being CEO of two companies.
Dorsey is stepping down now because he feels confident about his successor, and will focus on his payments processing firm Square Inc and other pursuits such as philanthropy, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The company’s board has been preparing for Dorsey’s departure since last year, the source said.
Read more: Analyzing the twitter verification program
Shares of the microblogging platform surged 9% in early trading, while those of digital payments firm Square Inc, of which Dorsey is also chief executive, were up 3%.
In his latest tweet on Nov. 28, Dorsey said: “I love twitter.” The “likes” on that tweet surged to more than 54,000 on Monday.
CNBC was first to report Dorsey’s move. Dorsey co-founded Twitter in 2006 and became CEO the following year.
In 2008, co-founder Ev Williams and board member Fred Wilson pushed out Dorsey as the social media site gained steam with users and they determined he was unfit to lead the company.
But after years of stagnant growth and a slumping share price, Dorsey returned as CEO in 2015 while continuing to lead Square.
In early 2020, Dorsey faced calls from Elliott Management Corp to step down, after the hedge fund argued that he was paying too little attention to Twitter while also running Square Inc.
Dorsey fended off the pressure by giving Elliott and its ally, buyout firm Silver Lake Partners, seats on Twitter’s board.
Reuters with additional input by GVS News Desk