Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, is stepping down as chief executive of the company.
He will be replaced by the current chief technical officer, Parag Agrawal, Twitter said.
Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006, has been serving as CEO of both Twitter and payment firm Square.
“It’s finally time for me to leave” he wrote in a statement, saying the company was “ready to move on.”
Dorsey said he had “deep” trust in his replacement. “I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead,” he said.
Mr Agrawal joined Twitter in 2011, and has been the firm’s head of technology since 2017.
Twitter’s share price jumped slightly as rumours of his departure emerged.
Trading of shares on the stock exchange was temporarily halted as a result, but has since resumed.
News of Dorsey’s departure was first reported by CNBC on Monday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Reuters news agency separately reported it had been told the same.
On Sunday, Dorsey tweeted, apparently unprompted: “I love Twitter.”
In a separate message to the official corporate statement, Dorsey tweeted: “Not sure anyone has heard but I resigned from Twitter”.
“There’s a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘founder-led’. Ultimately I believe that’s severely limiting and a single point of failure,” he wrote in an attached email he sent to staff.
He added that he would leave the board after his term expires.
“Why not stay or become chair? I believe it’s really important to give Parag the space he needs to lead.”
The 45-year-old co-founded the company with Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Noah Glass in 2006.
Dorsey has not been in the good books of the Nigerian government since October 2020, over an allegation that he was complicit in the promotion of the EndSARS protests that ended in the destruction of lives and billions of property.
In June 2021, the Federal Government suspended Twitter, citing the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
The action followed a deletion of a controversial civil war post by the President.
The FG since come under fire for what many termed as a restriction of the right of expression. The international community including the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, amongst others had since knocked the Buhari regime for the action but the Federal Government had been unyielding in its stance insisting that the sovereignty of the West African nation must be respected by the San Francisco tech giant.
Millions of content creators in Nigeria, who earn their living from the microblogging site, have been affected as they are forbidden from using Twitter. Some of them have since embarked on a journey of diversification while exploring other social media platforms.
Nigeria, with over 200 million people, had about 33 million active social media users as of January 2021.
WhatsApp is the most popular platform used in the country, with over 90 million users according to Statista. Also according to Statista, about 61.4 per cent of Nigerian social media users use Twitter, 86.2 per cent use Facebook, 81.6 per cent use YouTube, 73.1 per cent use Instagram, and 67.2 per cent use Facebook Messenger.
Read Dorsey’s full resignation letter:
After almost 16 years of having a role at our company…..from co-founder to CEO to Chair to Exec Chair to interim-CEO to CEO…I decided it’s finally time for me to leave. Why?
There’s a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘founder-led.’ Ultimately I believe that’s severely limiting and a single point of failure. I’ve worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders. There are 3 reasons I believe now is the right time.
The first is Parag becoming our CEO. The board ran a rigorous process considering all options and unanimously appointed Parag. He’s been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs. Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around. He’s curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware, and humble. He leads with heart and soul, and is someone I learn from daily. My trust in him as our CEO is bone-deep.
The second is Bret Taylor agreeing to become our board chair, I asked Bret to join our board when I became CEO, and he’s been excellent in every way. He understands entrepreneurship, taking risks, companies at massive scale, technology, product, and he’s an engineer. All of the things the board and the company deserve right now. Having Bret in this leadership role gives me a lot of confidence in the strength of our board going forward. You have no idea how happy this makes me!
The third is all of you. We have a lot of ambition and potential on this team. Consider this: Parag started here as an engineer who cared deeply about our work and now he’s our CEO (I also had a similar path…he did it better!). This alone makes me proud. I know that Parag will be able to channel this energy best because he’s lived it and knows what it takes. All of you have the potential to change the course of this company for the better. I believe this with all my heart!
Parag is CEO starting today. I’m going to serve on the board through my term (May-ish) to help Parag and Bret with the transition. And after that…I’ll leave the board. Why not stay or become chair? I believe it’s really important to give Parag the space he needs to lead. And back to my previous point, I believe it’s critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder’s influence or direction.
I want you all to know that this was my decision and I own it. It was a tough one for me, of course. I love this service and company…and all of you so much. I’m really sad……yet really happy. There aren’t many companies that get to this level. And there aren’t many founders that choose their company over their own ego. I know we’ll prove this was the right move.
We’ll have an all-hands meeting tomorrow at 9:05 AM Pacific to discuss it all. Until then, thank you all for the trust you’ve placed in me, and for the openness to build that trust in Parag and yourselves. I love you all.