Elon Musk fires Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal: A look at the CEO’s short-lived term

Parag Agrawal was appointed Twitter CEO back in November 2021. But in just under a year, Twitter's new owner Elon Musk has fired the India-born CEO. A look at Agrawal's short stint as Twitter's boss.

Following the successful completion of Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, the founder of Tesla terminated the employment of four of the company’s most senior executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal. Given that Musk has already accused Agrawal of publicly misrepresenting him about the amount of spam-bot accounts, Musk’s decision should not come as a surprise.

In a now-famous exchange, Musk responded to one of Agrawal’s tweets with a feces emoji. An overview of Agrawal’s brief tenure at the social media startup is presented in the following paragraphs.

In November of 2021, Agrawal was selected for the position.

After Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO of Twitter in November 2021, the position was eventually filled by the India-born Agrawal. Agrawal had at that moment received Dorsey’s unequivocal support. Because Musk decided to terminate him, Agrawal’s time at the company was cut short after less than a year.

Agrawal attended the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Bombay and graduated with a degree in engineering. In addition, he holds a doctorate in computer science from Stanford University and has worked as an intern for a variety of firms, including AT&T Labs, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

Since he joined Twitter for the first time in 2011, he has been employed here for almost 11 years. Formerly holding the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Twitter, he was promoted to his current position in 2018. He was involved in the company’s technical strategy, particularly in areas pertaining to machine learning and artificial intelligence, as was previously reported.

Additionally, he spearheaded the initiatives to scale up Twitter’s advertising systems. After shelling out a billion dollars to acquire the social network, Elon Musk is suddenly its owner. (Reuters is responsible for the image)
In contrast to Elon Musk, Agrawal

Despite the fact that Musk sacked Agrawal, the two of them did not have a tumultuous beginning to their relationship, at least not in public.

When Musk bought a controlling interest in Twitter back in April, Agrawal greeted him warmly and welcomed him to the company. In point of fact, that tweet is still the one that is pinned to the top of his profile. “I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve decided to appoint @elonmusk to our board of directors!

Following a series of talks with Elon over the past several weeks, it is now abundantly evident to us that he would provide a tremendous deal of value to our Board,” the CEO of Twitter, who has since been fired, wrote in April of this year.

Parag Agrawal, Parag Agrawal Twitter

Additionally, Musk had tweeted the following: “Looking forward to working with Parag and the Twitter board to create big changes to Twitter in the coming months!” However, Musk later declined to join the board of directors and presented the offer as a take-it-or-leave-it takeover proposal.

Agarwal had made an effort to ignore all of the commotion, and near the end of April, he tweeted, “I took this job to improve Twitter for the better, course correct where we need to, and strengthen the service.” Proud of our staff who, despite all the hubbub, continue to complete the work with the same level of concentration and drive.

On the other hand, it was quite evident that Musk did not agree with the manner in which the company was being managed. In May, Musk altered his tune and began voicing complaints about the user account on Twitter. He asserted that a big percentage of Twitter users were fraudulent and that the firm had not been honest about its user base. Musk also claimed that Twitter had been manipulating its user base statistics.

This compelled Agrawal to respond to the allegation that there were phony users by publishing a lengthy thread in May of 2022. During that time, he had written the following: “We suspend over a half a million spam accounts every day, generally before any of you even see them on Twitter.” We further disable millions of accounts every week that we have reason to believe may be used for spam if such accounts are unable to pass human verification tests such as captchas or phone verification.

He continued by saying that determining which accounts “appear false superficially” is a difficult challenge to face. He made the following observation: “Our team updates our systems and rules constantly to remove as much spam as possible, without inadvertently suspending real people or adding unnecessary friction for real people to overcome when they use Twitter: none of us want to solve a captcha every time we use Twitter.”

He had posted the following in response to the claim that the percentage of bogus users was higher than 5%: “Our real internal estimates for the last four quarters were all considerably under 5% — based on the approach mentioned above.” Our estimations have a certain margin of error, which instills confidence in the public declarations we make each quarter. Musk, who is obviously not impressed, posted a “poop emoji” in response to the whole thread to show his displeasure.

Other Twitter executives terminated by Agarwal

Along with Kayvon Beykpour, who was the head of Twitter Product, and Bruce Falck, who was the lead for revenue product at the firm, Agrawal had fired both of them back in May.

In the statement, he stated that he will continue to “embrace the profound intricacies of our service and our company” and make “hard decisions as needed.” And you can anticipate even more positive shifts in the future.”

He also addressed the issue of people dubbing him a “lame-duck CEO,” which is a reference to the fact that the majority of people anticipated that Musk would fire him once he assumed control of the firm.


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