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PIO’s Ascend In the U.S

PIO’s Ascend In the U.S
December 09
10:29 2021

Parag Agrawal’s ascent last week, as Twitter CEO sent waves across India and the tech world as it made headlines in the media.

37-year-old Parag Agrawal succeeded Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who announced that he was stepping down. Mr Agrawal had joined Twitter in 2011 and rose through the ranks to become the firm’s Chief Technology Officer. He’s been described as a safe pair of hands, and has a huge job ahead of him.

News of his appointment has led to much celebration in India where the micro-blogging platform has more than 30 million users.Many took to Twitter to applaud his appointment, pointing out that he is now the youngest CEO of an S&P 500 company.

The appointment-only amplifies the role played by immigrants in Silicon Valley.

The financial world saw Gita Gopinath, India-born become the first female chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2018,who is now set to take over from Geoffrey Okamoto as the multilateral institution’s number-2 official early 2022. The elevation to the post of First Deputy Managing Director (FDMD) came just months after Gopinath had said she intended to re-join Harvard University in January 2022 to retain her tenured faculty post after completing three years at the IMF.

In January last year, India-born technology executive Arvind Krishna was named CEO of International Business Machines Corp. after a “world-class succession process”.
He succeeded Virginia Rometty, who had described him as the “right CEO for the next era at IBM” and “well-positioned” to lead the company into the cloud and cognitive era. Krishna, 59, had joined IBM in 1990 after graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur; and completing a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Six years back, Sundar Pichai was named CEO of the newly organized Google, becoming only the third chief executive of the company after former CEO Eric Schmidt and cofounder Larry Page. In December 2019, he became the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet.

Pichai wished Dorsey “the very best ahead” and congratulated Agrawal and Twitter’s new Chairman Bret Taylor, saying he is “excited for Twitter’s future!”

In  2014, Microsoft veteran Satya Nadella was named CEO of the Redmond, Washington-based company. With him at the helm, the Windows maker has become the highest-valued firm in the world, rivaling only Apple Inc, in market capitalization.

MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, PepsiCo’s former CEO Indra Nooyi and Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen are among the other Indian-origin executives who have risen on the corporate ladder and successfully steered multinational giants.

Elevating Agrawal will help, according to Vivek Wadhwa distinguish fellow from Harvard who says, “If you note how Microsoft has not been the target of the left or right in the U.S., it is because of Satya and his ability to listen to criticism and maintain a balance. I expect that Agrawal will do the same.”

The world is watching closely the rise and ascent of PIOs in the tech and corporate world right now. The Indian degree combined with advanced education in US has opened up opportunities for PIOs unparalleled by any other country in the world.

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