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India-born Parag Agrawal becomes Twitter new CEO

Parag Agrawal succeeds Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who announced on Monday that he was stepping down

India-born Parag Agrawal, who has been named the chief executive officer of Twitter, is making headlines in the country of his birth as many celebrate his appointment.

The 37-year-old succeeded Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who announced on Monday that he was stepping down.

Mr Agrawal joined Twitter in 2011 and rose through the ranks to become the firm’s chief technology officer. He’s been described as a safe pair of hands, and has a huge job ahead of him.

But the news of his appointment has led to much celebration in India where the micro-blogging platform has more than 30 million users.

Many took to Twitter to applaud his appointment, pointing out that he is now the youngest CEO of an S&P 500 company. Some added him to the long list of Indian CEOs of global technology firms.

In a statement on Twitter on Monday, Mr Dorsey wrote, “Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around. He’s curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware and humble. My trust in him as our CEO is bone deep.”

Shortly after the announcement, Mr Agrawal tweeted a note, saying he was “excited for the future”.

“Thank you, Jack. I’m honoured and humbled. And I’m grateful for your continued mentorship and friendship,” he wrote. “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.”

A graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mr Agrawal has a PhD in computer science from Stanford University.

Before joining Twitter, he had worked at Microsoft, Yahoo and US telecoms giant AT&T in various research roles.

As the chief technology officer at Twitter, he was responsible for the company’s technical strategy, leading work to “improve development velocity while advancing the state of machine learning across the company”, the firm said.

All his previous assignments have been away from the prying eyes, but with his new appointment, Mr Agrawal has gone from relative obscurity to a major public figure overnight and every move he makes now will be carefully watched.

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