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Twitter chief claims executive exodus voluntary

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey confirms CTO and COO are to take on additional responsibilities with the departure of four top executives

Twitter co-founder and interim chief executive Jack Dorsey has confirmed four top executives are to leave the company, but claims the departures are voluntary.

Some initial reports of the departures said not all were voluntary and that those leaving included head of Vine, Jason Toff.

Dorsey said in a tweet that he was making the announcement “given the inaccurate press rumours” regarding the departures.

He said he was “sad to announce” that engineering chief Alex Roetter, product head Kevin Weil, human resources vice-president Skip Schipper and media head Katie Stanton had “chosen to leave” the company. However he did not mention Toff.

"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 our purpose in the world. They are phenomenal people!”

Dorsey highlighted the contributions they have made, noting that Roetter and Weil have taken the ads product and engineering teams from "near-zero revenue to the over-$2bn run rate it is today”.  

He announced that Twitter chief operating officer Adam Bain is to take on responsibility for the revenue-related product teams, the media team and HR team on an interim basis.

Twitter's chief technology officer Adam Messinger will take over engineering and consumer product, research, user services and mobile development platform Fabric.

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Board changes

Despite Dorsey’s attempts to put a positive spin on the news, the departures are expected to further shake investor confidence just weeks after Twitter’s share price hit a new low.

Twitter plans to bring in two new board members as soon as this week, reports Fox News, citing people familiar with the matter, who also said Dorsey plans to replace the entire board eventually.

Since taking over as CEO, Dorsey has launched Moments, which features the best tweets and content; laid off more than 300 employees; given back a third of his stock to employees; and hired former Google executive Omid Kordestani as executive chairman.

Dorsey is under investor pressure to grow membership and revenue in the face of competition from rivals like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

The company was hit by several high-profile departures in 2015, including chief executive Dick Costolo; product management vice-president Christian Oestline, who went to YouTube; and product management director Todd Jackson, who went to Dropbox.

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