Who is Twitter's new CEO Parag Agrawal?

Parag Agrawal is the latest CEO of Indian origin, joining a list that includes Alphabet Inc's Sundar Pichai, Microsoft Corp's Satya Nadella and IBM Corp's Arvind Krishna. File photo

Twitter Inc on Monday appointed technology chief Parag Agrawal as its chief executive officer, replacing Jack Dorsey. The social media networking platform joins tech giants Apple, Amazon and Alphabet in tapping a company insider for the top job. Here are some facts about Agrawal:

Decade with Twitter

Agrawal joined Twitter more than a decade ago as a software engineer and was appointed chief technology officer in October 2017. He oversaw Twitter's technical strategy and was responsible for improving the pace of software development while advancing the use of machine learning across the company. At 37, Agrawal is the youngest CEO of an S&P 500 company.

Latest Indian-origin CEO

Agrawal is the latest CEO of Indian origin, joining a list that includes Alphabet Inc's Sundar Pichai, Microsoft Corp's Satya Nadella and IBM Corp's Arvind Krishna.

Stanford graduate

Agrawal has a doctorate in philosophy in computer science from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B). Both Pichai and Krishna also hold bachelor's degrees from IITs.

Project Bluesky

Since December 2019, Agrawal has also been working on Project Bluesky, an independent team of open-source architects, engineers and designers to combat abusive and misleading information on Twitter.

Bluesky is seeking to introduce a new decentralized technology, the idea being that Twitter and others will become clients of Bluesky and rebuild their platforms on top of the standard, Dorsey has said previously.

Free speech

Responding to a question on protecting free speech and fighting misinformation in an interview with the MIT Technology Review in 2020, Agrawal said "our (Twitter's) role is not to be bound by the First Amendment, but our role is to serve a healthy public conversation and our moves are reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation."

Ex-Microsoft, Yahoo employee

Before joining Twitter, Agrawal worked at Microsoft Corp, Yahoo and AT&T Labs Inc in their research units, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Salary

Agrawal will receive an annual salary of $1 million along with other perks and bonuses.

"...Agrawal will receive an annual salary of $1,000,000 and will continue to be a participant in the company's executive bonus plan with a new target bonus of 150 per cent of his annual base salary. Under the terms of the Offer Letter, in December 2021, the Board will grant to Mr Agrawal restricted stock units (RSUs) with a grant date face value of $12,500,000," a regulatory filing by Twitter to the US SEC, said.

The filing added that the RSUs will vest in 16 equal quarterly increments (each being 6.25 per cent of the grant) starting February 1, 2022, subject in each case to Agrawal remaining an employee of Twitter through the applicable vesting date.

In April 2022, the Board will grant Agrawal performance-based RSUs (PRSUs) with a grant date face value of $12.5 million. The performance goals for those PRSUs will be determined by the Compensation Committee of the Board on or before the grant date.

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