Big Exec Departures at Twitter: Media Head Stanton and Product Head Weil Leaving

Kurt Wagner and Kara Swisher, Recode
Big Twitter exec departures

In a major executive upheaval, two of Twitter's top executives — media head Katie Jacobs Stanton and product head Kevin Weil — are departing the company, according to sources close to the situation.

Neither has immediate plans to go to another company, added sources, but are expected to. Right now, the jobs of both Weil and Stanton will be filled with interim replacements.

In what is shaping up to be a big executive upheaval tomorrow, Twitter engineering head Alex Roetter is also departing the company, according to sources. Twitter's director of product Jason Toff is also leaving the company, he said in a tweet.

Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night and then day and then day after that. Also the day after that. You get the idea of the tumult about to pummel the San Francisco social communications company, from both inside and outside.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

There have been rumblings of the changes for weeks now inside the San Francisco social communications company. Sources said Twitter is planning to announce the shuffle tomorrow, along with the hire of a prominent CMO.

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Sources said she was a well-known exec from a big brand company, but Re/code could not determine who that is. (We have some good guesses, but Re/code tries hard not to guess.)

In any case, we'll know tomorrow, along with how Twitter is planning on positioning the pair of key departures. In the past, unlike other companies, it has sometimes been publicly rough on those leaving, such as communications head Gabriel Stricker and Ali Rowghani.

Both Stanton (who has worked in big media jobs at both Google and Yahoo before coming to Twitter) and Weil (who came from CoolIris in 2009) are well-regarded both inside and outside the company.

Stanton took over from Chloe Sladden in 2014, after a stint as international head; Weil was given his job in the same year, the third product head in that time frame.

Stanton has been under a lot of pressure to remake the media org, as it has tried to shift its strategy with publishers and compete with rivals like Snapchat and Facebook, which have increased their efforts there.

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And Weil, in particular, had his role diminished especially after layoffs in October. His biggest product rollout of late has been Moments, the much-hyped content product that Twitter released in the fall. It's still unclear whether that has worked.

In addition, Weil now works for the Twitter inventor, CEO Jack Dorsey, who has become the de facto product head, said sources.

In general, it has been a very hard time for all top execs there, as Twitter has struggled to regain its growth among users and momentum with investors. Along with that, the company's stock has plummeted recently to well below its offering price.

That has prompted speculation as to whether it might get bought. So far, that is not happening, but all the continued changes at the company have not helped its prospects.

More changes are likely, including an expected turnover on its board in the next quarter. Sources said that at least one was a well known media personality.

Also coming soon, a new head of PR, a job now being done by general counsel Vijay Gadde.

The timing of the exec changes is interesting, too, since Twitter is set to hold an executive retreat this week in San Francisco with the company's top brass. (Re/code is not invited, presumably, but will be reporting what happens there anyways.)

By Kurt Wagner and Kara Swisher, Re/

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