After six years at the helm, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is to step down as chief executive of the company.
The 45-year-old, who co-founded Twitter with Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Noah Glass in 2006, and has been its chief executive since 2015, will now focus on his payments-based company Square.
Dorsey will be replaced by the company’s chief technical officer, Parag Agrawal.
The move has been expected by industry pundits for a while, as several commentators and investors have criticised Dorsey for not focusing on the business enough. Yet the timing of the actual announcement took the media and financial world by surprise.
The news triggered a slight rise in Twitter’s share value, though this increase had largely been wiped out within a few hours.
Dorsey was arguably the face of Twitter after having been responsible for its firsts tweets and then maintaining a position as its most high profile executive. This is in spite of the fact that between 2008-2015 he was not the company’s chief.
Recently Dorsey had to see off an investor-backed call for his removal led by Elliott management, a firm which owns a significant amount of Twitter’s shares.
Reacting to the news of Mr Dorsey’s resignation, a spokesperson for Elliott said the new management team were “the right leaders for Twitter at this pivotal moment for the company”.