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Twitter boss ‘personally’ grateful as five Twitter execs walk

Jack Dorsey shows importance of being earnest

By Joe Fay, 25 Jan 2016

Jack Dorsey waved goodbye to five senior Twitter execs over the weekend, and didn’t disappoint avid company-watchers when he issued yet another memo worthy of Oscar Wilde.

Engineering boss Alex Roetter, HR chief Skip Schipper, media head Katie Stanton and product head Kevin Weil have “all chosen to leave the company”, Dorsey announced. Hard on their heels, Twitter’s video streaming head Jason Toff also announced he was flying off to Google.

If losing one exec could be characterised as unfortunate, and two as carelessness, we’re not quite sure how to describe losing four – hang on – five, over one weekend. The Wall Street Journal reported that Stanton had told Twitter weeks ago that she intended to walk, while Roetter had confided in Dorsey months ago that he planned to resign.

Last October, Dorsey exercised his irony muscles by reducing the BBC’s Today team to hysterics with a “corporate speak” free memo on staff cuts that rivalled the beeb’s own missives for management BS.

Today, Dorsey tweeted that he’d been “hoping to talk to Twitter employees about this later this week” but wanted to “set the record straight” after rumours of the departures broke on re/code.

In a tweeted statement, he said: “All four will be taking some well-deserved time off” adding that “I’m personally grateful to each of them for everything they’ve contributed to Twitter and our purpose in the world.”

He added that they were “phenomenal people” to whom he would be “forever grateful”.

That gratitude will clearly be even warmer amongst remaining execs who will be picking up extra work. A new marketing boss could be named today according to reports. But Dorsey also said COO Adam Bain will be picking up “additional responsibilities”, including revenue related product teams, media and HR “on an interim basis”.

CTO Adam Messinger takes on engineering and consumer product, design and research, user services and Fabric.

“I will be partnering with him day and night to make sure we’re building the right experiences,” said Dorsey.

Day and night is right given that many holes in the top ranks, as Dorsey works to overhaul the company and convince the world that Twitter has a raison d’etre. With its stock less than $20, way off its $60 to $70 highs, that's an awful lot of convincing. ®

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