Twitter CTO Adam Messinger, who has been the company’s CTO for almost four years and with the company for five years, said today he was leaving the company. Twitter VP of product Josh McFarland is also leaving to join Greylock Partners.
Messinger made the announcement in — no surprise — a tweet:
So, in short, the round robin at Twitter’s top echelon continues. Last month, COO Adam Bain left the company as Anthony Noto took over. And now Twitter has lost another pair of top executives. Beyond that, earlier this month Twitter’s director of media partnerships and head of news, government and elections Adam Sharp said he was leaving the company.
Amid all this chaos, sudden changes at the top — which, for Twitter, seems like a regular event at this point — can lead to equal confusion down the ranks, especially as Twitter tries to remake itself into something a little less confusing to attract new users. While Twitter over the years has shored up its reliability (when’s the last time you saw the fail whale?) it still needs to figure out how to keep the upper ranks constant if it’s going to portray an image of stability for current and potential employees.
While departures like Messinger’s aren’t all that uncommon — especially for executives who have been in those positions for a long time, it’s still happening at a rough time in Twitter’s history. Twitter is no stranger to executive departures, but at this moment it’s when the company is reeling from talks of an acquisition falling apart and the company having to figure out how to continue running as an independent company.
It also comes at a time when, while the company was able to deliver some much-needed solid results, it laid off a significant portion of its workforce in October. Twitter had a several-month saga of trying to sell itself to a variety of suitors, including Salesforce, which ultimately walked away from the talks in October shortly before the company reported its Q3 results.
McFarland, meanwhile, was VP of product for nine months and was at the company for around two years after Twitter acquired TellApart. That role has been an even more notorious round-robin, especially as Twitter has tried to figure out how to make the service more attractive and continue to grow — and convince Wall Street that it can last as an independent company.
And the continued decline of Twitter’s stock, which the company very actively uses to attract and compensate talent, isn’t helping either. The company’s stock, since Dorsey took over a little more than a year ago, has in particular not done well:
Here’s how the rest of the changes will shake down, according to The New York Times: Twitter’s heads of product, design and engineering will be reporting directly to CEO Jack Dorsey, while VP of engineering Edward Ho will take over Messinger’s duties and also report to Dorsey. The Times is also reporting that he will not be heading to a competing social networking company.