Wall Street thinks new Twitter CEO Agrawal is too much of an insider

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11/30/2021 1:00:00 PM

Wall Street thinks new Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal is too much of an insider to bring needed change to the company

Insider tells the global tech, finance, markets, media, healthcare, and strategy stories you want to know.

, Elliott's head of activism, and Marc Steinberg, a portfolio manager there, said the investment in Twitter"has been productive and effective.""Having gotten to know both incoming chairman Bret Taylor and incoming CEO Parag Agrawal, we are confident that they are the right leaders for Twitter at this pivotal moment for the company," Cohn and Steinberg added. 

Others are less convinced."Twitter probably needs a more dramatic management change than what has been announced," Mark Mahaney, a top internet analyst at Evercore ISI, wrote in a note to investors.Twitter has become better at rolling out new products for users, such as Super Follows and Twitter Blue, but that hasn't made a big impact on user growth or revenue yet, Mahaney said. Twitter's current goal is to double revenue by the end of 2023 and have 315 million daily active users, up its current 211 million.

"What underlies these value proposition challenges has been an inconsistent product development track record, which the company has acknowledged, to its credit." Mahaney wrote."Perhaps having a 'full-time' CEO will improve this track record. It's hard to know. And we don't believe we'll have great insight for several quarters to come." headtopics.com

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Shmulik said Twitter's recent release of new products for users has been more or less a"see what sticks" strategy, which he said is fine, but on the advertising side, where the money is made on social media,"there's a lot more that can be done."

As a CTO, engineer, and AI expert, Agrawal may know where changes can be made to benefit advertisers and he will be under pressure to further monetize the platform. Shmulik compared Twitter's current moment to what Microsoft was going through when Satya Nadella in 2014 replaced Steve Ballmer as CEO. Nadella was also an insider who was initially doubted. But he went on to make a string of acquisitions, like Minecraft and LinkedIn, and invested heavily in cloud computing,"a bet that's paid off," Shmulik said.

"That's what we're looking for with Agrawal, what's his bet going to be, what's the prioritization?" Shmulik said."If I'm in a room three months from now with a bunch of Twitter employees, do they know what their North Star is? I hope so."

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