Elon Musk has agreed to buyout Twitter for a staggering £35billion.
Agrawal, who took over as CEO after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down in November 2021, has been with the social media network for more than a decade.
Taking to Twitter, Agrawal posted: “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.”
Despite his high profile job, Agrawal is relatively unknown, so who is the chief executive, what’s his salary, who is his wife and how much could he take if Musk opts for a change at boardroom level.
Who is Parag Agrawal?
Parag Agrawal, 37, has been a loyal employee of Twitter, having worked for the company for more than a decade.
He first joined the social media giant in October 2011 with a focus on ad products, and later became Twitter’s first distinguished engineer, a role which involves driving the technical strategy on mobile, machine learning, cloud adoption, and security among other things.
Six years later, in 2017, he was appointed as chief technology officer, tackling high-profile problems such as large scale password security issues and taking on some of the company’s major initiatives like decentralisation.
Agrawal has also been in charge of other large projects involving artificial intelligence and machine learning, which led him to create Twitter’s timelines with personalised and relevant tweets.
Most notably, Agrawal was tasked with finding a leader for Project Bluesky, a proposal that would make it easier for social networking sites to enforce restrictions against hate speech and other abuse.
Agrawal moved to the US from India and keeps a low profile inside and outside of Twitter.
He has a solid background in tech, with a B.Tech degree in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Bombay and a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University.
He also had research internships at tech companies AT&T, Microsoft and Yahoo before joining Twitter.
He is married to Vineeta Agrawal, whose Twitter bio states she is a physician, and an adjunct professor at Stanford School of Medicine. Together they have one son called Ansh.
Why was Agrawal selected as Twitter’s CEO?
In a statement on Twitter, Dorsey said that he is stepping down to give the company’s new leadership space to grow without its founders.
He said: "I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders.
"The board ran a rigorous process considering all options and unanimously appointed Parag. He’s been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs.
“Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around. My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is bone deep.”
Bret Taylor, Twitter’s new independent board chair added to this, explaining that Agrawal has been central to many of the company’s most important strategic decisions in recent years.
He stated: “Parag understands Twitter and appreciates the Company’s unique potential.
“He has been instrumental in tackling our most important priorities, including accelerating our development velocity, and I know he’ll hit the ground running to strengthen execution and deliver results.
“The Board has the utmost confidence in Parag."
What has Twitter been like under Agrawal’s leadership?
Twitter said earlier this year that by the end of 2023, it aims to have 315 million monetisable daily active users (mDAUs).
The company also stated it would aim to double its revenue during this timeframe, from $3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion in 2023.
Matt Navarra, a social media consultant and industry commentator based in the UK, believes Agrawal will not cause any immediate shake-ups for users on the site but did say, like Dorsey, that Agrawal shares an interest in emerging technologies.
“Parag Agrawal looks set to build upon the path Jack has set the company up to travel which includes decentralisation and web3, crypto, NFTs (non-fungible tokens), and a focus on social commerce, video, and the creator economy” Navarra told PA.
Another of Twitter’s goals is to continue trying to protect its users against hate speech and misinformation through moderation policies, which Agrawal is expected to continue developing.
In response to Dorsey’s statement, Agrawal said “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.”
What will Agrawal’s salary be?
According to the Times of India, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said the new CEO of Twitter receives an annual salary of $1 million- plus bonuses.
Moneycontrol has said that Agrawal will receive restricted stock units (RSUs) valued at $12.5 million that will vest in 16 equal quarterly increments from 1 February 2022.
He will also receive performance- based restricted stock units in April 2022.
If Agrawal receives a payout from Musk then it is likely to be in the region of £30million.