Twitter losing four members of exec team

Twitter stock recently hit a record low and the number of users has been increasing more slowly than the firm would have expected. At the end of last September, it had 320 million active users - four million more than three months earlier.
Twitter stock recently hit a record low and the number of users has been increasing more slowly than the firm would have expected. At the end of last September, it had 320 million active users - four million more than three months earlier.PHOTO: REUTERS
Twitter stock recently hit a record low and the number of users has been increasing more slowly than the firm would have expected. At the end of last September, it had 320 million active users - four million more than three months earlier.
MR JACK DORSEYPHOTO: REUTERS

CEO confirms departures as firm struggles to boost profitability and prospects for growth

SAN FRANCISCO • Twitter is losing four members of its executive leadership team, including its product and engineering chiefs, as the social media company tries to revive growth after its stock lost half its value in 12 months.

Chief executive Jack Dorsey announced the shake-up yesterday, which comes as the social network struggles to boost its profitability and prospects for growth.

The revamp originally was reported by the Wall Street Journal and tech news website Re/code, before Mr Dorsey confirmed the departures.

Leaving the company are head of engineering Alex Roetter, product chief Kevin Weil, head of media Katie Stanton and vice-president of human resources Skip Schipper.

"I'm forever grateful to @aroetter, @katies, @skipschipper & @kevinweil for everything they've given to Twitter. They are absolutely amazing!" Mr Dorsey wrote at his @jack Twitter account, adding that he was "sad" they are leaving.

PHENOMENAL PEOPLE

All four will be taking some well-deserved time-off. I'm personally grateful to each of them for everything they've contributed to Twitter and our purpose in the world. They are phenomenal people!

MR JACK DORSEY, Twitter chief executive, addressing what he called "inaccurate press rumours" about the overhaul, saying the four departing executives "have chosen to leave the company".

Mr Dorsey, who is Twitter co-founder, addressed in a longer statement what he called "inaccurate press rumours" about the overhaul, saying the four "have chosen to leave the company".

"All four will be taking some well-deserved time-off. I'm personally grateful to each of them for everything they've contributed to Twitter and our purpose in the world," Mr Dorsey wrote. "They are phenomenal people!"

He added that chief operating officer Adam Bain "will be taking on additional responsibilities" as part of the shake-up, as will chief technology officer Adam Messinger.

The exits are the first significant departures from the technology company since Mr Dorsey returned last year as CEO.

His predecessor Dick Costolo oversaw a slew of high-profile departures, including C-level executives and heads of product and engineering. Mr Weil, for example, was Twitter's fifth head of product in six years.

Twitter has been looking to add directors since appointing former Google executive Omid Kordestani as executive chairman in October. 

Twitter shares fell 55 per cent in the 12 months to the close of trading on Jan 22. They rose 1.9 per cent to the equivalent of US$18.18 in German trade yesterday.

Mr Dorsey currently is managing two firms, Twitter and mobile payments start-up Square - both multibillion-dollar companies struggling to achieve profitability.

He ran Twitter in 2007-2008 but was pushed out of the CEO chairbefore returning as interim chief executive after then CEO Dick Costolo resigned last June.

He took the job on a permanent basis in October, as Twitter deals with persistent concerns over its growth prospects.

Twitter stock recently hit a record low and the number of users has been increasing more slowly than the firm would have expected.

At the end of last September, it had 320 million active users - four million more than three months earlier. Twitter will report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb 10.

Separately, late on Sunday, Mr Jason Toff, general manager at Vine, the video-sharing site owned by Twitter, also announced his departure from the company.

BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2016, with the headline 'Twitter losing four members of exec team'. Print Edition | Subscribe