Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal takes 'several weeks' of parental leave just three months after taking office

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal takes ‘several weeks’ of parental leave just three months after taking office

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, 37, announced last week that he will be taking a few weeks of parental leave when his wife gives birth to her second child.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, 37, announced last week that he will be taking a few weeks of parental leave when his wife gives birth to her second child.

Twitter shares fell heavily on Tuesday after it was announced that new CEO Parag Agrawal would be taking a few weeks of parental leave to welcome his second child, just three months after he received his big promotion and increased salary of $12 million.

In early afternoon trading, Twitter’s share price fell 3.68 percent to $35.62.

Agrawal, 37, took over the social media giant on November 29, after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey unexpectedly announced his departure from the company.

Agrawal, who started as a software engineer at Twitter a decade ago and worked his way to the top, now earns a $1 million annual salary plus $12.5 million worth of bonuses and stock.

As a first course of action, just days before his tenure as CEO, Agrawal shuffled Twitter’s leadership, ousting chief engineer Michael Montano and chief designer Dantley Davis.

During last week’s general meeting, the newly minted chief executive told his staff that he would take “a few weeks” to spend time with his wife, CFO Vinita Agarwala, and their newborn child. The powerful Silicon Valley couple also have a three-year-old son, Ansh.

Twitter allows its employees to take up to 20 weeks of parental leave, regardless of gender.

Agrawal has not named an interim CEO to replace him and plans to maintain regular contact with Twitter executives in his spare time.

In early afternoon trading, Twitter's share price fell 3.68 percent to $35.62.

In early afternoon trading, Twitter’s share price fell 3.68 percent to $35.62.

Agrawal and his wife, CFO Vinita Agarwala, are pictured with their son Ansh, now three.

Agrawal and his wife, CFO Vinita Agarwala, are pictured with their son Ansh, now three.

“At Twitter, we encourage and fully support employees who take paternity leave in whatever way is best for each individual,” Twitter spokeswoman Laura Yagerman, who published the story, told The Washington Post. “This is a personal decision and we have created a parental leave program (supporting up to 20 weeks of flexible leave) that can be customized for this reason.”

Agrawal’s announcement comes at a challenging time for Twitter, which reported losses in 2021 and fell short of Wall Street’s expectations for user growth over the last three months of the year.

Agrawal took over as CEO of Twitter in late November 2021 after co-founder Jack Dorsey (pictured) abruptly left the company.

Agrawal took over as CEO of Twitter in late November 2021 after co-founder Jack Dorsey (pictured) abruptly left the company.

Twitter was one of several Silicon Valley firms that advocated for parental leave for workers, regardless of gender.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and CEO of Meta, surprised many in 2015 when he decided to take a two-month vacation to be with his wife, Priscilla Chan, and their first child, Maxima. In 2017, the couple had a second daughter, Augusta.

Paternity leave is still a controversial topic in corporate America that has divided business leaders.

Joe Lonsdale, a tech investor, made headlines last year when he ridiculed Spotify for offering six months of parental leave and said that “any man in an important position who takes six months of leave for a newborn is a loser.” .’

Lonsdale followed up with a tweet arguing that the “correct male response” for new fathers is to work too hard to provide for their child.

Harry Tan, co-founder of Initialized Capital, applauded Lonsdale, saying that he took all four months of parental leave offered to all employees of his firm to set an example for others.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (right) took a two-month vacation in 2015 to be with his wife Priscilla Chan and their first child Maxima.  The couple welcomed their second daughter in 2017 (pictured together)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (right) took a two-month vacation in 2015 to be with his wife Priscilla Chan and their first child Maxima. The couple welcomed their second daughter in 2017 (pictured together)

Reddit co-founder Alex Ohanian said he took 16 weeks off to help wife Serena Williams following the birth of their daughter Olympia (pictured together in November 2021)

Reddit co-founder Alex Ohanian said he took 16 weeks off to help wife Serena Williams following the birth of their daughter Olympia (pictured together in November 2021)

Tesla founder Elon Musk said after the birth of his youngest child (pictured together in December 2021) that he doesn't play a big role in child care.

Tesla founder Elon Musk said after the birth of his youngest child (pictured together in December 2021) that he doesn’t play a big role in child care.

Reddit co-founder Alex Ohanian, who is married to tennis superstar Serena Williams, has been a vocal advocate for parental leave. In a 2020 article in The New York Times, he said he took 16 weeks off to help his wife, who had near-fatal complications during childbirth.

“Nothing could take me away from my wife and daughter during those hours, days and weeks – and I am grateful that I never had to choose between family and work,” Ohanyan wrote.

In contrast, Elon Musk, the eccentric father of seven, founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, told The New York Times in 2020, after welcoming his youngest child with singer Grimes, that he didn’t have a big fathering role at that stage.

“Well, babies are just machines for eating and pooping, you know?” he joked. “There is little I can do now. … When the child grows up, there will be more roles for me.”

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