Within minutes of his promotion, Twitter users trawled through Agrawal's old tweets, a familiar method that has spelled acknowledged disaster for many before. Although most of the tweets were dull, some users leaped on a tweet from Oct. 26, 2010, which said, "If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists."
A screenshot of the following tweet suggests Agrawal was quoting Aasif Mandvi from The Daily Show.
The unearthed tweet caused critics to make noise, who called the statement racist and a bad omen for Agrawal's approach to free speech on the platform.
Dorsey co-founded Twitter with Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass back in 2006 and served as CEO until 2008. He later reverted to the CEO role in 2015 after former CEO Dick Costolo resigned. He has a net worth of approximately $11.8 billion, according to real-time tracking by Forbes.
"There's a lot of talk about the importance of a company being 'founder led'," Dorsey said in an email to employees shared on Twitter Monday. "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."
Dorsey will be replaced by Twitter chief technology officer Parag Agrawal, who the social media giant's board has unanimously appointed.
"He's been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs," Dorsey said. "Parag has been behind every critical decision that has turned this company around."
He also revealed his confidence in incoming independent board chairman Bret Taylor.
"He understands entrepreneurship, taking risks, companies at massive scale, technology, product and he's an engineer," Dorsey said. "All of the things the board and the company deserve right now."
In addition, he praised the ambition and potential of the Twitter team.
The news, first reported by CNBC, caused Twitter shares to be halted during Monday's trading session after rising in pre-market trading.
"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." Dorsey concluded. There aren't many companies that get to this level. And there aren't many founders that choose their company over their ego. I know we'll prove this was the right move."