Management Shake-Up at Twitter; Top Execs Out

Key management leave Twitter; the social media company's shares fall

Jack_Dorsey
Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey; Image: Twitter

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed the departure of four top-level executives at Twitter after tech media blogs reported layoffs and firings at the company, on Sunday. He also clarified the reports of firings in his post calling them “inaccurate press rumors”:

Given the inaccurate press rumors today regarding their departures, I’m addressing this now: I’m sad to announce that Alex Roetter, Skip Schipper, Katie Stanton, and Kevin Weil have chosen to leave the company. 

[Related: Twitter Experiences Hours-Long Service Disruption]

The four are Alex Roetter, senior vice president of engineering; Skip Schipper, vice president of human resources; head of media Katie Jacobs Stanton; and head of product Kevin Weil.

Jason Toff, who heads up Twitter’ s video app product Vine, also announced on Sunday that he was leaving Twitter to work with Google on its virtual reality products, according to the New York Times.

Despite success as a globally disruptive social media app and means of communication, Twitter has been steeped in controversy and financial troubles. Most recently, many criticized the hiring of white male Jeffrey Siminoff, as the head of diversity and inclusion.

The criticism was especially pointed since the revelation that African American employees made up just 1.5% of Twitter employees as of 2015, although according to the Pew Research Center, blacks make up the largest percentage of Twitter’s userbase and are most active on the platform.

In November last year, former black Twitter engineer, Leslie Miley posted a Medium blog expressing his frustration working at Twitter with its lack of diversity.

Twitter shares fell in the wake of the news of the management departures, reports MarketWatch. Investors have historically struggled to see value in the platform, although it is used by millions. In the past month, Twitter shares fell 22% however, some Wall Street analysts say that new management will introduce fresh blood into the company and that advertising partnerships should help the company monetize.

Yet, investors remain wary. From MarketWatch:

The stock’s valuation is becoming “more interesting,” said Citi Research analysts, but the uncertainty with executive departures, as well as employee turnover and ongoing business challenges, caused the researchers to reiterate a neutral rating.