Execs Leaving Twitter

There is a lot of news about the struggling social network Twitter (TWTR) today. New CEO Jack Dorsey shakes up the executive ranks three months into his tenure and it has people wondering if the social media network can survive. But there is only one key change that will make or break Twitter, and until investors sense it’s fixed, expect continued weakness in Twitter’s share price.
It’s already down 37% since Dorsey took over through Friday, the shares were down another 5% in premarket trading on Monday.
More departures alone obviously won’t fix what’s ailing Twitter and that’s the news of the day. Top executives leaving include head of engineering, Alex Roetter, top advertising emissary to global brands Katie Stanton, HR chief Brian “Skip” Schipper and Jason Toff, who oversees video service Vine.
Some see this as a sign things were getting worse, not better.
But it’s the loss of Kevin Weil, the fifth head of “product” at Twitter to depart in the past six years, that should get more attention. That’s a tell-tail sign that something is just not right.

That’s because most of Twitter is doing just fine. Ad sales have been rising smartly, deals with big ad players signed with regularity and even the service’s unreliable technical platform has stabilized (for the most part — there was an outage last week). But the real problem at Twitter is that user growth and engagement have stagnated.

Far more people have tried Twitter and abandon it than currently use the service on a regular basis. And thanks to early comparison to Facebook (FB) and its 1.5 billion users, Twitter’s 320 million active users remain quite the disappointment.

Dorsey announced the execs departure but did not name replacements.

“I’m sad to announce that Alex Roetter, Skip Schipper, Katie Stanton and Kevin Weil have chosen to leave the company,” Dorsey wrote. “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 out purpose in the world.”

All of the functions were redistributed to two of the top remaining executives, chief operating officer Adam Bain and chief technology officer Adam Messinger, but Dorsey will likely be appointing new recruits to fill the old jobs shortly.

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