SAN FRANCISCO — When Jack Dorsey, then Twitter’s government chairman, pushed the corporate to construct out its machine studying and synthetic intelligence capabilities in 2014, he turned to an engineer, Parag Agrawal.

When Mr. Dorsey later grew to become Twitter’s chief government and wanted assist overhauling the corporate’s infrastructure, he additionally tapped Mr. Agrawal.

And when Mr. Dorsey envisioned a future for Twitter in 2019 that will be based mostly on the idea of decentralization and applied sciences such because the blockchain, he once more pulled in Mr. Agrawal to assist.

On Monday, Mr. Dorsey made the handover full when he stepped down as chief government and Mr. Agrawal, 37, was named Twitter’s new chief.

Mr. Agrawal, the chief know-how officer since 2017, is little identified to the general public, with even some Twitter insiders saying they had been stunned by his appointment. But behind the scenes, the India-born engineer has been a Twitter veteran and confidant of Mr. Dorsey’s who has been concerned in lots of the firm’s largest strategic initiatives. That made Mr. Dorsey effusive about his successor, saying in a tweet that the board had run a “rigorous” seek for a brand new chief government and had “unanimously” endorsed Mr. Agrawal.

“He’s been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs,” Mr. Dorsey, 45, wrote.

In his personal message to workers on Monday, Mr. Agrawal emphasised his information of the corporate and his kinship with its staff.

“I joined this company 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees,” Mr. Agrawal wrote within the firm e mail, which he additionally tweeted. “I’ve walked in your shoes, I’ve seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the mistakes. But then and now, above all else, I see Twitter’s incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us.”

Mr. Agrawal turns into the newest India-born government to take over a serious American know-how firm. Executives of South Asian descent at the moment are on the helm of corporations together with Microsoft, Google and IBM, with a lot of them succeeding the businesses’ founders. To some in Silicon Valley, Mr. Agrawal’s elevation was the definition of the American dream.

“Wonderful to watch the amazing success of Indians in the technology world and a good reminder of the opportunity America offers to immigrants,” Patrick Collison, chief government of Stripe, stated in a tweet on Monday congratulating Mr. Agrawal.

Yet as Twitter’s new chief, Mr. Agrawal has his work minimize out for him. The firm, which is predicated in San Francisco, faces challenges, akin to placating activist traders and calming an agitated Congress about its energy, divisiveness and potential to censor free speech. Mr. Agrawal can also be charged with finishing up Mr. Dorsey’s imaginative and prescient for decentralizing Twitter in order that its customers can finally govern what’s allowable on the service themselves.

Still, some tech observers stated that Mr. Agrawal’s appointment made sense as a result of he was a sort of “spiritual successor” to Mr. Dorsey: Both are quiet, well mannered, deeply technical and enthused about an web the place energy and management are given again to customers.

“He definitely takes a big-picture view of what should Twitter be in the world and how should it work,” Mike Masnick, the founding father of the know-how information web site Techdirt, who has suggested Twitter on decentralization efforts, stated of Mr. Agrawal.

Born in Mumbai, Mr. Agrawal studied laptop science and engineering on the Indian Institute of Technology, an elite technical college. In 2005, he moved to the United States and enrolled at Stanford University to pursue a doctorate in laptop science. There, he joined a analysis group targeted on databases, which let computer systems retailer and mine massive quantities of digital info.

Even amongst college students at Stanford, Mr. Agrawal stood out for his robust grasp of the mathematics and the idea that underpins laptop science, stated Jennifer Widom, who led the analysis lab and served as his thesis adviser.

“Having both of those skills — math and theory — can take you a long way,” she stated in a telephone interview. “If you are good at the theory, you have the ability to be analytical, to reason, to make decisions.”

Mr. Agrawal’s concentrate on databases made him a pure match for Twitter, which should juggle information arriving from tens of thousands and thousands of individuals throughout the globe. He joined the corporate in 2011 earlier than finishing his Ph.D. and have become a key member of the engineering crew that oversaw the corporate’s promoting applied sciences.

“I kept nagging him to go ahead and finish his thesis,” Dr. Widom stated.

The advertisements crew was among the many first inside Twitter to make in depth use of so-called machine studying, mathematical techniques that may be taught explicit abilities by analyzing information. Using these methods, Mr. Agrawal and his colleagues developed methods to focus on advertisements to explicit customers, which helped elevate Twitter’s revenues and his profile.

He then grew to become a member of what was generally known as the Twitter Architecture Group, or T.A.G., a crew of high engineers who reviewed and improved the corporate’s initiatives that had been underneath growth.

“He was on the shortlist of top engineers,” stated Krishna Gade, who met Mr. Agrawal when he first interviewed with Twitter. “Even then, he had a lot of influence on the engineering direction of the company.” Mr. Gade left Twitter in 2014.

When Mr. Dorsey returned to Twitter as chief government in 2015, Mr. Agrawal was considered one of his lieutenants who helped refocus the corporate’s efforts on the “timeline” that feeds tweets right into a person’s Twitter app. In 2017, Twitter promoted Mr. Agrawal to chief know-how officer.

“I would call him pragmatic,” stated Kevin Quennesson, who oversaw Twitter’s machine studying efforts on the time. “As one of the early engineers, he built strong internal relationships over the last decade.”

Even as chief know-how officer, Mr. Agrawal has stored a low profile. He labored behind the scenes to rebuild Twitter’s technical infrastructure, which had been cobbled collectively over time. That led to engineering issues and prevented the corporate from introducing new services and products as rapidly because it wished. Mr. Agrawal helped Twitter shift to utilizing cloud computing companies from Google and Amazon, streamlining its operations.

In 2019, Mr. Dorsey stated that Twitter would fund an impartial analysis initiative to create decentralized social media, permitting customers to make their very own moderation choices and apply their very own algorithms to advertise content material. He tapped Mr. Agrawal to supervise Twitter’s contributions to the undertaking, generally known as Bluesky.

“We believe empowering more individuals and third parties could help solve problems for communities and help more people,” Mr. Agrawal stated in an interview about Bluesky in June. “A lot of people want to be part of the solution and now the only way is for them to figure out how to work at Twitter or figure out how to have their community prioritized by a company like ours. That’s some of the thinking and reasoning behind algorithmic choice.”

Twitter was keen to maneuver past questions of what content material to take away or go away up on its service, Mr. Agrawal stated on the time, and to think about how algorithms elevate content material as a substitute.

“Our role has shifted from ‘we host a bunch of content’ to ‘we guide people toward what they are interested in,’” he stated. “We are thinking about this in terms of, ‘How does something get attention and in what context?’ What do you host or not host is a problem of 10 years ago.”

Mr. Agrawal has additionally managed Twitter’s effort to include cryptocurrencies into the platform, letting customers ship ideas in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. And he has supported efforts to be clear about Twitter’s algorithmic errors, urging the corporate to go public with its findings {that a} photo-cropping algorithm it used was biased.

Mr. Agrawal’s emphasis on product growth appealed to insiders who believed Twitter had moved too slowly to introduce new merchandise, an individual accustomed to the succession course of stated. His appointment might additionally assist Twitter mirror the success of different corporations which have tapped engineering leaders to supervise turnaround efforts, they stated.

Mr. Agrawal will obtain an annual wage of $1 million, plus bonuses, in addition to restricted inventory models and performance-based inventory models valued at $12.5 million, in response to an organization submitting on Monday.

“Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around,” Mr. Dorsey stated in his tweet. “My trust in him as our C.E.O. is bone-deep.”


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