Twitter’s chief executive responded to the sudden departure of four senior executives on Sunday by tweeting a detailed statement emphasising their contribution to the company as it moved from “near zero revenue to the over-$2bn run rate it is today”.
Jack Dorsey confirmed that senior vice-president of engineering Alex Roetter, vice-president of global media Katie Jacobs Stanton, HR vice-president Skip Schipper and senior vice-president of product Kevin Weil are all leaving the embattled social media firm.
Attempting to reassure staff and investors about the stability of the company, Dorsey said chief operating officer Adam Bain would be taking on additional responsibilities, including “revenue-related product teams”, media and HR.
Chief technology officer Adam Messinger will be heading up engineering, consumer product, design and research, user services and Twitter mobile development platform Fabric. Dorsey said the two of them would be partnering “day and night” to coordinate the company’s development.
Twitter is under increasing pressure from shareholders to increase revenues and become more aggressive against competitors including Facebook and younger rivals such as Snapchat.
Dorsey said he had wanted to talk to Twitter staff about the changes later in the week, but now needed to set the record straight after “inaccurate press rumours”. He did not explain which reports were inaccurate, although news of the departures was first reported by Re/code earlier in the day.
“I’m sad to announce that Alex Roetter, Skip Schipper, Katie Stanton and Kevin Weil have chosen to leave the company. Alex and Kevin, both here over five years, scaled the ads product and engineering teams,” he said. “[They] have run all of product and engineering together for the last 18 months, helping to drive an increased pace of execution.
“Katie, also here over five years, has grown a global team that brings the world’s best, most engaging, and most powerful content onto our services.”
Schipper, he said, “played a key role scaling our HR functions … globally”. All four are said to be planning time off.
Long-time Twitter investor Chris Sacca, who has also been outspoken in his criticism of the company, said Dorsey would be able to appoint strong talent, but that Twitter would need to ensure new board members increased the diversity of the board.
This article was written by Jemima Kiss in San Francisco, for theguardian.com on Monday 25th January 2016 05.44 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010