Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is stepping down as president of the social media company, effective immediately. On Monday, the company said that Paraj Agrawal, Twitter’s chief technology officer, will take over the company.
Twitter shares were down about half a percent by noon on Monday.
Dorsey, 45, was the CEO of Twitter and Square, his digital payments company. The company said Dorsey will remain on the board until his term expires at the 2022 shareholder meeting. Salesforce President and COO Brett Taylor will become chairman of the board, succeeding former Google CEO Patrick Bechet, who will remain on the board as the audit committee chair.
“I have decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is willing to move forward with its founders,” Dorsey said in a statement, although he did not provide any additional details about the reason for his decision to resign.
Agrawal will have to meet Twitter’s aggressive internal goals. The company said earlier this year that it aims to have 315 million monetized daily active users by the end of 2023 and at least double its annual revenue that year.
Agrawal, who has been chief technology officer since 2017, has been with Twitter for more than a decade. He was responsible for the strategy involving artificial intelligence and machine learning and led projects to make tweets in users’ timelines more relevant to them.
Agrawal was previously also tasked with finding a leader for Project Bluesky, a research project launched by Twitter to create open and decentralized standards for social media platforms. Dorsey had previously said that Bluesky would help social media companies collaborate on how to promote posts to users and would give users more control over the content they see. Bluesky can also make it easier for social networks to clamp down on hate speech and other forms of abuse, essentially helping them to share the burden at a lower cost.
Agrawal held research training courses at AT&T, Microsoft, and Yahoo before joining Twitter.
Dorsey said in an email he posted on Twitter that Agrawal had been his pick to lead the company “for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs”.
Dorsey nearly ousted him last year when Twitter stakeholder Elliott Management sought to replace him. Elliott Management founder and billionaire investor Paul Singer questioned whether Dorsey should run both public companies. Singer called on Dorsey to step down as CEO of one of them before the investment firm reached an agreement with Twitter management.
Dorsey, who co-founded the social media giant in 2006, served as CEO until 2008 before being removed from the position. He returned to lead Twitter in 2015 after former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down.
Shares have jumped 85% since Dorsey took over as CEO on October 5, 2015. Square stock is up 1,566% since its initial public offering on November 19, 2015.
CNBC’s Annie Palmer and Sal Rodriguez contributed to this report.