Your role model, that’s how to best understand Twitter’s new CEO

Twitter on Tuesday announced that it had named Parag Agrawal its new chief executive. The company’s previous CEO, Jack Dorsey, who also serves as CEO of Twitter’s ownership subsidiary, Square, tweeted his thanks to all his colleagues and praised the company’s people.

As Dorsey wrote, Agrawal has been at Twitter for several years as a product director. He’s only the third non-spokesperson to run the company, which operates two offices in Washington and, as of this year, eight worldwide. Agrawal will begin his new role at Twitter on Wednesday. He is not, however, new to the world of technology — he served as CTO of Vertro, a Boston-based mobile marketing company, for seven years before joining Twitter in 2011.

I’ve covered Agrawal in the past and found him engaging and accessible. Here’s how you should approach him.

Are you an investor in his company, not just a media person or company executive? His company was raised $2.5 million before Twitter bought Vertro in 2010.

Are you an entrepreneur who has worked with him? In July 2013, Verge reported that Agrawal was co-leading the board and advising Twitter on product issues with a view toward a potential sale to Google.

Do you see yourself as a role model for him?

That’s one of Agrawal’s chief interests. A story about the nature of leadership in Investopedia, which you can find here, features the 2013 quote. That drew a response to @DrewElimotta from an influential political strategist, Matthew Schlapp, now President Trump’s director of strategic communications.

Agrawal told my colleague Ian Cull, then a reporter at Crain’s who now heads product for the Daily Beast, that Schlapp’s comment revealed “just how clueless traditional journalists are to the world of change in business.”

“Whether that same approach is needed in corporate governance is up for debate,” Cull wrote. “You have to care about leadership if you’re going to care about business in the first place.”

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