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Twitter's new CEO announces major reorganization of the social networking company.

Published Dec 6, 2021


TWITTER’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal, announced a major reorganisation of the company on Friday, putting his stamp on the organisation following the sudden departure of co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey.

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The shake-up, meant to streamline the company's operations and accelerate its growth, will bring together employees previously divided by job function – such as engineering, design, and product development – on teams organised by what they're working on, such as consumer product, revenue, and core tech.

Two executives, head of engineering Michael Montano and chief design officer Dantley Davis, will step down as part of the reshuffling and leave the company by year's end, as will the company’s head of people, Jennifer Christie.

In a company-wide email, Agrawal said that he will focus on “clear decision-making, increased accountability, and faster execution,” and said he was “making a number of organisational and leadership changes to best position us to achieve our goals … We’ve all discussed the critical need for more operational rigour and it must start from the top.”

Twitter subsequently confirmed the moves, and it reported them to the US Securities and Exchange Commission in a filing.

The reorganisation is the first clear sign that Twitter's new leader intends to overhaul a culture that has been considered slow to innovate and mired in internal conflict. Dorsey, who announced his resignation from Twitter unexpectedly on Monday, was viewed by many as a hands-off leader. He had faced pressure to resign from investors and was criticised, along with the leaders of other social media companies, for failing to control the spread of misinformation and other harmful content.

Agrawal, 37, was chosen unanimously to succeed Dorsey by Twitter’s board of directors. At Tuesday’s all-hands meeting, according to employees who attended, Dorsey emphasised Agrawal’s engineering background and the fact that he rose through the ranks over a decade at Twitter in touting him as the ideal choice to lead the influential social media firm.

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Agrawal is tasked with making Twitter a faster-paced company but will also face intense scrutiny from lawmakers intent on regulating social media.

Twitter’s spokesperson Liz Kelley said the moves were Agrawal’s decision, and that the departures of Montano and Davis were the result of the organisational shift.

The reshuffling consolidates previously separate functions, such as engineering, design, and product development, under three new divisions: consumer, revenue, and core tech. Those divisions will be led by Kayvon Beykpour, Bruce Falck, and Nick Caldwell, respectively, who will get new titles of “general manager”.

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“As the company grows, Parag sees this as a way to bring clarity and cohesion across Twitter,” Kelley said.

She cited Twitter Spaces, the company’s live audio chat feature, as an example of a product that could benefit from having the engineers, designers, and product managers who work on it now reporting to the same leader, Beykpour.

In the employee letter, Agrawal said that he was going to focus on “clear decision-making, increased accountability, and faster execution,” and said he was “making a number of organisational and leadership changes to best position us to achieve our goals”.

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Davis, previously a director of product design at Facebook, joined Twitter in 2019 to lead its design team. He is black and Asian, and was the first black executive at Twitter to report directly to the CEO. The company had touted him as a hard-charging leader who would detoxify the platform, but he was also criticised by some employees for what they said was a blunt, aggressive management style.

Montano, the company’s head of engineering, was a long-time company veteran and was known as a champion of giving employees flexibility and enabling remote work, which Twitter had embraced early on.

Twitter also confirmed on Friday that Christie, its head of people, will leave the company at the end of the year. She'll be replaced by Dalana Brand, the company's vice president of people experience and head of inclusion and diversity.

Also on Friday, senior product management director Sara Beykpour announced that it was her last day. Beykpour, who is married to Twitter executive Kayvon Beykpour, said the timing was a coincidence with the reorganisation.

Kavyon Beykpour's elevation to general manager of consumer product would seem to solidify his place at the company after some had speculated he might be Dorsey's successor. Beykpour led the launch of Twitter Spaces, as well as the launch and subsequent shutdown of Twitter Fleets, as part of the company's push to give users different ways of interacting and gain more mainstream appeal. The company has not disclosed whether there were other candidates for the CEO role beyond Agrawal.

When Dorsey left, he said he would continue to remain CEO of Square, which he renamed Block this week to highlight a focus on cryptocurrency. Despite his absences, he was known as a charismatic and visionary leader who represented the company during years of controversies over bullying and harassment and foreign actors sowing disinformation on the service.

Dorsey was the first leader of a tech company to limit the speech of former President Donald Trump when the company slapped a warning label over his tweets last year.

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