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Twitter weighs in on Mozilla CEO resignation

The influence Twitter can have on corporate affairs should come as no surprise, the vice president of the micro-blogging website in Asia told CNBC following this week's controversial resignation of Mozilla's CEO.

Brendan Eich resigned as the head of software firm Mozilla on Thursday following an intense backlash over his support of California's anti-gay marriage law on Twitter and elsewhere online.

"It's [Twitter] an open platform on which the users determine what they'll talk about. We provide capabilities for people to communicate in live public and a conversational way," said Shailesh Rao, who oversees Asia-Pacific, Latin America and emerging markets, when asked whether Twitter feels responsible for Eich's decision to step down.

(Read more: Mozilla CEO resigns after furor over gay rights)

"I'm not surprised by anything anymore because I feel like I've seen it all on Twitter. It's a reflection of society and the pulse of the world," he said.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Earlier this week, dating website OKCupid replaced its usual homepage for users logging in with Firefox with a note suggesting they not use Mozilla's software to access the site.

Twitter's role in corporate, political and societal affairs has grown significantly across the world in the recent years.

(Read more: Turkish government says it is lifting ban on Twitter)

Justine Sacco was sacked as communications director of New-York based internet firm InterActive Corp in December after sending a tweet before departing on a holiday to South Africa that linked AIDS to race.

Asia focus

Rao said Twitter is focused on investing in its business in Asia, where it has the largest and fastest growing user base out of any region in the world.

"Asia excites us," he said. "Our focus is to build our business through advertising, particularly mobile advertising, it generates the majority of our revenue today."

(Read more: Can Twitter turn its huge overseas user base into #$$$?)

While the micro-blog has made significant headway in growing its international user base, it faces the grand challenge of monetizing it. International users account for 77 percent of the website's monthly active users, but generate just 25 percent of the company's revenues.

However, Rao is confident the company can grow its revenue outside its home market.

"What we're seeing when we work with advertisers around the world and here in Asia, their campaigns using Twitter's platform are generating 10 to 30 times better results than traditional digital advertising…I'm confident when we bring that story to advertisers across the region it will mean continued growth," he said.

When asked how well brands in emerging markets have adopted a voice on Twitter as compared with the U.S., he said: "Whether it's a company like Intel in India, the History Channel in Singapore, or L'Oreal in Australia, all of them use Twitter to authentically and effectively engage with users in the region."

On China, where Twitter is blocked due to government regulations, Rao said the company's goal is to make sure the platform can be used everywhere, adding that he hopes the scenario changes.

"I can't forecast the future. But we'll continue to do what we can control – making the best Twitter for our users today," he said.

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