Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey steps down as chief executive of social media giant

Credit: AP

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is to step down as CEO of the social media platform.

Shares of Twitter had surged earlier on Monday following reports that Dorsey was handing over the reins. Twitter has now confirmed the news, adding that Dorsey will be succeeded by its current Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal.

Dorsey, who co-founded the firm in 2006, said the decision to step down was his own and that he is "really sad...yet really happy".

In an email sent to Twitter's employees, which he later posted on Twitter, Dorsey wrote: "There's a lot of talk about the importance of a company being 'founder-led'. Ultimately, I believe that's severely limiting and a single point of failure".

"There aren’t many companies that get to this level. And there aren’t many founders that choose their company over their own ego.”

The 45-year-old added that he will remain on the board until his term expires in 2022.

Dorsey is also the top executive at Square, a financial payments company that he founded. Prior to his resignation from Twitter, some big investors at Square had openly questioned whether he could be effective leading both. The early days of Twitter began with a tweet sent by Dorsey on March 21 2006, that read “just setting up my twttr."

The company went through a period of robust growth during its start, but as the growth slowed the San Francisco company began tweaking its format in a bid to make it easier and more engaging to use.

The social media giant, along with the wider sector, has faced continuing scrutiny over its moderation of harmful content online, including how it handles misinformation as well as racist and other abusive posts. Dorsey initially became Twitter CEO in 2007, but was forced out the next year. He returned to the role in 2015.