Parag Agrawal: IIT Bombay Graduate To Youngest Indian-Origin CEO
Parag Agrawal took over the position of Twitter CEO with the resignation of Jack Dorsey. The best message for Indians is that, now Google, Microsoft, Adobe, IBM, Palo Alto Networks, and Twitter are governed by CEOs who grew up in India. Google CEO is Sundar Pichai, Microsoft CEO is Satya Nadella, Adobe CEO is Shantanu Narayen, IBM CEO is Arvind Krishna, Palo Alto Networks CEO is Nikesh Arora, and finally Twitter CEO is Parag Agrawal.
Who is Parag Agarwal?
Agrawal was born in Mumbai, India. His father was a senior official in the Indian Department of Atomic Energy, and his mother is a retired school teacher. He studied at Atomic Energy Central School. Agrawal won a gold medal at the 2001 International Physics Olympiad held in Turkey. He earned 77th rank in the Joint Entrance Exam in 2000 and received an undergraduate degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2005. Agrawal then moved to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University.
Before joining Twitter, he worked at Microsoft, AT&T, and Yahoo. In all three companies, his work was mainly research-oriented. Parag Agrawal entered Twitter in 2011 as an ads engineer and has served as Chief Technology Officer in October 2017. As per the company statement, as CTO, Agrawal has been responsible for the company's technical strategy, leading work to improve development velocity while advancing the state of Machine Learning across the company. He is married to Vineeta Agarwala, a venture capital investor whose Twitter profile describes her as a physician and adjunct clinical professor at Stanford Medicine. The couple have a young son called Ansh, who also happens to have a Twitter handle.
Lesser Known Facts About Parag Agarwal
Parag Agrawal is now the youngest CEO in the S&P 500 elbowing Meta Platform Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg. However, Agrawal is 37 and the same age as Mark Zuckerberg. Twitter has not disclosed Agrawal’s date of birth citing security concerns but said he was born later in 1984 than Zuckerberg’s May 14 birthday, according to report.
Parag too is “quiet, polite, deeply technical and enthused about an internet where power and control are given back to users.” A Twitter employee, in the same report, has been quoted as saying that Parag is a “pragmatic” engineer and leader.
Within Twitter, Parag is considered one of the top engineers. He was once part of the company’s TAG group, which oversaw all the new products and technologies with Twitter. In 2019, Jack Dorsey announced a new decentralised social media project called Bluesky and brought in Parag to look after it.
CEO Parag Agrawal’s First Tweet
The new CEO expressed, "Deep gratitude for jack Dorsey and to entire team, and stated he is more excited for the future. Below is the note which he sent to the company.
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.
Our purpose has never been more important. Our people and our culture are unlike anything in the world. There is no limit to what we can do together.
We recently updated our strategy to hit ambitious goals, and I believe that strategy to be bold and right. But our critical challenge is how we work to execute against it and deliver results - that's how we'll make Twitter the best it can be for our customers, shareholders, and for each of you. I want you to #LoveWhereYouWork and also love how we work together for the greatest possible impact.
I recognize that some of you know me well, some just a little, and some not at all. Let's consider ourselves at the beginning-the first step towards our future. I'm sure you have lots of questions and there's a lot for us to discuss. At the all-hands tomorrow we'll have lots of time for Q&A and discussion. It will be the beginning of ongoing open, direct conversations I wish for us to have together.
The world is watching us right now, even more than they have before. Lots of people are going to have lots of different views and opinions about today's news. It is because they care about Twitter and our future, and it's a signal that the work we do here matters. Let's show the world Twitter's full potential!
Meanwhile, Tech Giants wished Parag Agarwal
Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted: "Wishing you the very best ahead @jack, and congrats @paraga and @btaylor - excited for Twitter's future!"
Reacting to the Indian Parag Agrawal's appointment as Twitter's new CEO, Tesla chief Elon Musk has said that "USA benefits greatly from Indian talent!".
"Google, Microsoft, Adobe, IBM, Palo Alto Networks, and now Twitter are run by CEOs who grew up in India. It is wonderful to watch the amazing success of Indians in the technology world; it is a good reminder of the opportunity America offers to immigrants. (Congrats, @paraga!)," Collison tweeted.
Taking on the new role as Twitter’s CEO, Agrawal said, “I look forward to building on everything we have accomplished under Jack’s leadership and I am incredibly energized by the opportunities ahead. By continuing to improve our execution, we will deliver tremendous value for our customers and shareholders as we reshape the future of public conversation.”