Parag Agrawal

Veteran engineer Parag Agrawal, who has been with Twitter since October 2011, was publicly named as the company’s chief technology officer. The Indian American engineer has a Ph.D. from Stanford University. (LinkedIn photo)

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter has appointed distinguished software engineer Parag Agrawal, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology at Mumbai, as its chief technology officer, according to an update at the micro-blogging site.

The Indian American computer scientist takes the position most recently held by Adam Messinger, who left in late 2016, CNBC reported March 8.

The appointment of Agrawal, who completed his doctorate in computer science from Stanford University in 2011, was announced internally in October 2017.

Agrawal joined Twitter in October 2011 as an ads engineer, and he most recently held the title of distinguished software engineer.

Before joining Twitter, he did research internships at AT&T, Microsoft and Yahoo.

His contributions at Twitter include leading efforts to increase the relevance of tweets in Twitter users' timelines using artificial intelligence.

AI also helps Twitter in preventing abuse on the social network.

“In his capacity as CTO, he's focused on scaling a cohesive machine learning and AI approach across our consumer and revenue product and infrastructure teams,” a Twitter spokesman told CNBC.

Twitter also announced this week that it intends to hire a director of social science in an attempt to “increase the collective health, openness and civility of public conversation” on its platform.

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