In a tweet posted on Nov. 29, Jack Dorsey announced that he has resigned, effective immediately, from his position as CEO at Twitter after 16 years at the company. Parag Agrawal, who has been serving as the chief technical officer, has been named as the new CEO after Twitter’s board of directors voted unanimously to appoint him to the position, also effective immediately.
It’s not clear what prompted the sudden resignation but Dorsey wrote in a statement that, “There has been a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘founder-led.’ Ultimately, I believe that’s severely limiting and a single point of failure. I’ve worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders.”
Dorsey is one of the founders of Twitter which was launched in 2006 with the original project code named “twttr.” He posted the first tweet ever stating, “just setting up my twttr.”
Twitter Inc. stock surged by 11 percent in early trading Monday following the news reaching a high of $52.05 before trading was halted due to news pending.
“I want you all to know that this was my decision and I own it,” he said. “It was a tough one for me, of course. I love this service and company…and all of you so much. I’m really sad…yet really happy. There aren’t many companies that get to this level. And there aren’t many founders that choose their company over their own ego. I know we’ll prove this was the right move.”
While it remains unclear as to why Dorsey has resigned it comes after stakeholder Elliott Management attempted to oust him last year from the executive suite over the platform’s slow growth.
In addition to his resignation as CEO, Dorsey also said that he will be stepping down from Twitter’s board of directors when his term ends in mid-2022.
Dorsey has served as CEO for twitter on two occasions. His first stint as CEO, which lasted just over two years, began with the company’s founding. He returned to the role in 2015 as an interim CEO, then permanently moved to the role a few months later.
Dorsey, who is estimated to be worth more than $11 billion, according to the latest estimate from Forbes, has faced criticism in recent years over the rise of misinformation on the platform as well as accusations of censorship.
In May, Dorsey appeared before Congress, along with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai, to face inquiries into how their sites negatively affect young children and amplify misinformation.
Dorsey may be moving away from Twitter to focus on personal projects.
“In April, Dorsey pledged to move $1 billion of his shares of Square into a limited liability company, where part of the funds would go to addressing the coronavirus pandemic. The LLC was also set up to support a universal basic income and girls’ health and education,” Newsweek reported.
Parag Agrawal, Dorsey’s predecessor, stated in a tweet, that he is “honored and humbled” by his appointment and that he was grateful for his continued mentorship by Dorsey adding that, “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 matters. Let’s show the world Twitter’s full potential!”