Twitter loses product, media, engineering heads


A little over six months ago, Dick Costolo stepped down as Twitter CEO. To assuage growing investor angst, the Twitter board quickly nominated co-founder Jack Dorsey to take over the reins.

Soon after taking over, several reports online reported the challenges faced by Dorsey in turning around Twitter towards earnings. Among the most popular factors growing is the Twitter ad business while also growing its user base.

To make matters worse, a recent Re/Code report states that the Media Head for Twitter, Katie Jacobs Stanton has quit. In addition, Product Head Kevin Weil has also decided to move on. Although neither of them have any immediate plans of heading to another company, it certainly casts aspersions on the situation from an employee point of view.

Considering the significance of the positions held by Stanton and Weil, it isn’t the best of news investors were looking forward to this new year. One could consider it a coincidence when a couple of individuals decide to move on to newer roles. But in addition to its Media Head and Product Head, reports now suggest that Twitter’s Engineering Head Alex Roetter has also decided to quit. To be fair, the reasons cited by them have been ‘by choice’.

According to a report by Reuters, in an earnings conference call in October, Dorsey spoke about “hiring and investing in talent” and the need for “bold rethinking.”

Effectively, Twitter is going to need a new CMO, a new engineering chief and a new product head. And this comes at a time when its CEO runs two companies – Twitter and Square. Among the reasons for increased pressure on Twitter is the need to earn revenues. Since its IPO in May 2012, Facebook gained peak market capitalisation of $104 billion.

Despite initial scepticism, Facebook reaped success. Investors who were looking for an exit had reaped more than they could contain. At least figuratively. And now most people that matter are looking to Twitter for a similar means of earning big.

Towards the end of his term, Dick Costolo seemed to have been fighting off the pressure. Facebook had ramped up its advertising offerings to include sponsored likes, sponsored posts, targeted likes, the ability to boost posts and other avenues that granted brands the opportunity to scale up in their social media activities.

Twitter instead opted to keep Sponsored Tweets to a minimal. In fact, the strategy with Twitter has been to be minimally intruding. Most of the content comes across as coming from the users you follow.

We hope Twitter is able to overcome the exodus by its prominent employees.