Jack Dorsey is stepping down as CEO of Twitter on July 1, 2019 after a three-year stint in the company’s top spot.
The unexpected move was announced Thursday afternoon by the company via a press release.
Twitter’s co-founder and acting CEO Adam Bain will take over as the company’s CEO from Dorsey on July 1.
Dorsey has said several times in the past year that he plans to step away from his day-to-day responsibilities at Twitter once its self-driving car project has been successfully deployed, in which case he will step down as CEO.
In the Thursday afternoon press release announcing the change, Twitter said that Dorsey will remain as its chairman.
“I love Twitter and this was not an easy decision,” Dorsey said in the statement. “But I believe Adam is ready, and I am excited for this new opportunity.
“Adam has done an incredible job in building out a world-class leadership team and building teams across the organization. There is no one better to drive our product agenda and execute on our strategic priorities,” Dorsey added.
Bain has worked for Dorsey since 2007.
“The Twitter team has created a unique place in the world for people to find and share what matters to them and I am honored to continue that mission as CEO,” Bain said in the press release.
“I have been part of Twitter since its inception, working alongside Jack and Adam. I grew up watching the power of Twitter being used to transform the political landscape, first in our country and then around the world,” he added.
Under Dorsey’s leadership as CEO, Twitter has faced increased scrutiny over its handling of harassment, hate speech and other behavior that has led to a string of resignations.
Dorsey previously led the company’s board of directors after the departure of Chairman Omid Kordestani. He was named executive chairman in January 2017 and became the company’s permanent CEO in October 2016.
Twitter has had several previous CEOs over the years, most notably Dick Costolo, who resigned in 2014.
Twitter’s board unanimously approved the executive leadership transition, the company said in a statement.
“Jack has built the company into a global communications platform and Twitter is an incredibly special place. I’ve truly enjoyed being part of this incredible team. The future of Twitter is bright,” said board member Jim Dorsey, who is not related to Jack Dorsey.
This week, Twitter announced some fresh initiatives aimed at combatting abusive content on the platform. It’s also been increasing efforts to combat clickbait by curtailing repeat offenders, and in a bid to better identify and remove “unsafe” tweets from certain geographic areas.
In January, Twitter did become an official partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in an effort to boost the social network’s social reach in London ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
–CNNMoney’s Michelle Chen contributed to this report.