Twitter chief Parag Agrawal in impossible job as Elon Musk saga continues

Agrawal appeared at Twitter’s digital annual shareholder assembly on Wednesday, saying from the outset he wouldn’t reply any questions in regards to the pending deal, which shareholders will vote on at a later date.

Behind the scenes, workers and advisers stated, Agrawal has been working with bankers and board members to shut Twitter’s sale to Musk, though the billionaire has lately instructed he needed to renegotiate and has made barbed feedback in regards to the firm.

Twitter staff remain uneasy as they await a resolution to the Elon Musk takeover.

Twitter workers stay uneasy as they await a decision to the Elon Musk takeover.Credit:Bloomberg

Agrawal has additionally doubled down on his plans to overtake Twitter whereas he can. This month, he fired two high executives, paused most hiring and pulled again on discretionary spending after the corporate missed monetary targets. He additionally plans to reinforce Twitter’s options utilizing machine studying, desires to make the platform extra enticing to new customers and transfer extra swiftly to debut new merchandise, in response to a presentation at an organization assembly this month.

“I know we’ve been going through a period of uncertainty,” Agrawal stated at that assembly, in response to a recording of it that was obtained by The New York Times. “We are shifting our focus back to our work.”

Agrawal joined Twitter as an engineer in 2011 whereas finishing his doctoral research in laptop science at Stanford. He then rose steadily by way of the corporate’s ranks, changing into chief expertise officer in 2017. He has spent most of his profession on the firm and has greater than 610,000 followers on the service.

When Dorsey handed the reins to Agrawal in November, the engineer went from overseeing a handful of workers to immediately managing greater than 7,000 folks. “My trust in him as our CEO is bone-deep,” Dorsey stated on the time.

Agrawal instantly made modifications. Days after changing into CEO, he dismissed two high executives answerable for design and engineering. He gave remaining leaders broader obligations. In inner emails seen by the Times, he burdened accountability, saying the brand new construction would make clear who was answerable for what duties and pace up decision-making.

In January, Agrawal pushed out two safety executives. In an inner memo, he stated the organisation was not being led in response to his expectations, which was affecting top-priority work.

Some Twitter workers applauded the strikes, saying that a few of the ousted executives had been sluggish or had bullied staff. Others had been shocked that Agrawal had dismissed longtime leaders and located him inscrutable.

By March, Musk had began build up a big stake in Twitter. On March 31, Agrawal spoke with Musk to pitch him on becoming a member of Twitter’s board, in response to a regulatory submitting. Musk initially agreed, then reversed course. Musk stated he was additionally weighing a bid to take Twitter non-public and had an concept of beginning a brand new social media firm, in response to the submitting.

Musk has been sparring with Agrawal on Twitter since announcing the deal.

Musk has been sparring with Agrawal on Twitter since asserting the deal.Credit:Getty Images

It was Agrawal’s first brush with Musk’s unpredictable model, which rapidly grew to become routine. Musk quickly launched a takeover bid for the corporate, sealed the deal after which needled Agrawal on Twitter over points resembling pretend accounts. When Agrawal tried addressing the issues on Twitter, Musk responded by sending him a poop emoji.

At Twitter, some workers soured on Agrawal, in response to 10 present and former workers who spoke on the situation of anonymity. He instructed staff he couldn’t share info on the take care of Musk as particulars had been hashed out. He was additionally initially quiet at firm conferences, they stated, and was absent from an inner worker chat.

Agrawal’s supporters stated he was legally restricted from sharing details about the deal, in response to two folks with data of the matter, and internally he expressed his frustrations with being unable to initially say extra in regards to the deal. After the settlement was signed, Twitter held workers conferences and despatched greater than a dozen emails to replace staff. Last week, Twitter let workers ask Vijaya Gadde, the pinnacle of authorized and coverage, and Ned Segal, the chief monetary officer, questions in regards to the deal.

Many workers stay unsure about their futures on the firm, a number of folks stated. Some are additionally bristling on the golden parachutes that Agrawal and different high executives will obtain if they’re fired after the take care of Musk closes, the folks stated.


Agrawal has instructed confidants that he’ll perform his plans quite than merely ready for Musk to take over. After slashing spending and freezing almost all hiring on the firm this month, he tried to rally staff.

“During this time of change, it’s critical that we continue to strengthen our work through increased accountability and execution to make Twitter everything it can be,” he wrote in an e mail to workers, which was seen by the Times. “Our purpose is existential.”

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