About Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s new boss, and NFTs simplified

by | Nov 30, 2021

This post is a delayed version of Techpoint Digest, a week-daily newsletter that rounds up major happenings in African tech. You can start receiving it hours before everyone else if you subscribe now

Good day,

Today, I’m discussing:

  • Jack Dorsey’s resignation
  • Simplifying NFTs

Jack Dorsey resigns

TECHPOINT.AFRICA 78
Jack Dorsey. Square CEO

This week definitely started with a surprise. Jack Dorsey is no longer Twitter CEO, a company he co-founded in 2006 and has held a role in for 15 years. He is now replaced by the CTO, Parag Agrawal (pictured in featured image). 

In the meantime, he’ll remain on the social networking platform’s board until the second quarter of 2022, when his tenure ends and to also aid a proper transition.

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Jack tweeted a screenshot of his email to the Twitter team to make the resignation public. He believes it was finally time for him to leave for three reasons — he has the perfect replacement, has gotten Bret Taylor to become board chair, and finally to pass a message to the Twitter team that every one of them has the potential to lead.

However, there are claims that the resignation was necessary as he could no longer continue to head Twitter along with his digital payments company, Square, due to criticisms — or concerns  — that he might not perform optimally from some stakeholders.

Interestingly, Jack has been running Square since 2009, after he was deemed unfit by stakeholders in 2008 and forced out of the Twitter CEO role. Fast forward to 2015; it was a unanimous decision from investors of both Twitter and Square to make him a permanent CEO.

Long time coming? There have always been suggestions that he might be forced to leave one of the companies for another.

Fun fact: Based on 2020 values, Jack owns 2% of Twitter, making up $849M of his $12,3B total net worth. 

Away from Jack, there’s a kind of excitement that came with this announcement. Parag is yet another top executive of Indian descent (the youngest on the list) leading a global tech company. A few mentions include Google’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, IBM’s Arvind Krishna, Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen, and Ajaypal Singh Banga of Mastercard.

Another fun fact: Parag Agrawal was among 4 Twitter executives who visited Nigeria with Jack Dorsey in 2019. An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and Stanford University, Parag was instrumental in Twitter’s foray into AI and Machine Learning. Learn more about him here.

Let’s simplify NFTs

NFT
Money vector created by freepik

People are making a killing from non-fungible tokens (NFTs), from $2 billion worth of trades in the first quarter of 2021 to $10 billion by the end of Q3 2021. 

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However, not everyone knows how to get in on the NFT action. It is one of the many innovations in the blockchain space that only enthusiasts and experts can easily take advantage of. 

While the news about NFT sales worth millions of dollars keeps making the rounds on social media, many of us still do not know what NFTs are. 

In the simplest form, NFTs are just like a digital certificate of ownership. But why are they worth so much, and how does one create them?

To find out, look out for Bolu Abiodun’s article on how to get started with NFTs later today.

What I’m reading

  • Are Ugandan telcos equipped to protect user data? Read
  • What do you know about Black Fridays? It has not always been for discounted deals ‘ear and dear’.

Opportunities

  • Adanian Labs opens applications for its Venture Building Program. Apply here
  • Junior News Reporter at Pulse Sports Nigeria. Apply here
  • Tavia Technologies Limited is looking for a SharePoint Support Analyst. Give it a shot
  • Team Apt is hiring an Inventory Officer. Apply here
  • Platform.sh is hiring a Technical Product Manager – Observability. Apply here
  • Frontend Engineer at Reliance Health. Interested?

Have a productive week ahead!

Oluwanifemi Kolawole
Oluwanifemi Kolawole

Human enthusiast | Writer | Senior reporter | Podcaster.

On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.

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