A Brief History Of Twitter’s Executive Departures


A Brief History Of Twitter’s Executive Departures

On Sunday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that a slew of top executives had chosen to leave the company. Executive departures aren’t all that surprising at Twitter any more as the company tries to figure out what it essentially wants to be as it continues to grow. As the roadmap changes, so too often does the executive layer of the company. Here are a few high-profile departures the company has seen in recent years.


Michael Sippey

Sippey was one of the first high-profile departures of Twitter, and one of the three product heads that would eventually leave the company. Sippey’s departure perhaps signaled Twitter’s product challenges as the company tried to define itself and continue growing its user base, a problem the company still deals with today.

Flickr | Joy Ito


Chris Fry

Preceding Alex Roetter was Chris Fry, who led the company’s engineering efforts prior to his departure in May 2014. Despite Twitter’s impending product issues, the Fail Whale had begun its gradual disappearance in the past few years, making engineering a key piece of Twitter’s efforts to define its product.

Photo: Troy Holden for Twitter


Ali Rowghani

Twitter has for some time struggled with the problem of reigniting its user growth. That, eventually, led to one of the company’s first big shake-ups: the departure of Rowghani, Twitter’s chief operating officer. It wasn’t until co-founder Jack Dorsey was officially named Twitter’s new CEO until it got a new COO in Adam Bain.

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Chloe Sladden

Sladden’s departure followed the Twitter’s chief operating officer Ali Rowghani’s. Before her departure, she was head of the company’s media efforts — a role which Katie Jacobs Stanton took over.


Daniel Graf

Graf had the shortest stint as product lead for the company. Leaving after six months, Graf before joining Twitter led Google’s maps team — one of the search company’s most successful products. Again, despite being a high-profile hire, Twitter’s challenges in building out its product led to a need to continue iterating its roadmap — which can often include changes at the executive level.

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images


Dick Costolo

After years of trying to define Twitter, the challenge for the company proved to be a significant one — and one that, inevitably, required a change at the top. Former CEO Costolo chose to step down in June last year, handing the reins back to co-founder and original product guy Dorsey. The hope, it would seem, was that under Dorsey, Twitter could solve its product riddle. As usual as roadmaps change, so often do the executives leading them.


Christian Oestlien

Oestlien announced his departure the same day Jackson did. He was part of the company’s growth efforts — an area that Twitter still struggles with to this day. Oestlien left to join YouTube.


Todd Jackson

Jackson joined the company as part of Twitter’s acquisition of Cover, a smart Android lock screen app. Before leaving, Jackson led Twitter’s content and discovery efforts — a key part of Twitter’s product suite that helps its users find the most interesting information on the service. Jackson left to join Dropbox as VP of product.


Gabriel Stricker

Twitter’s former head of communications Stricker joined the company about three years ago before departing in July last year. During his tenure he also oversaw the company’s media efforts for a time. He rejoined Google in December last year to lead the company’s communications for Google Fiber.


Akash Garg

Garg, before leaving, held the title senior director of the engineering, growth and international team. Just based on that you can imagine his place in Twitter’s goals to keep itself from crashing and continue to grow its user base. He spent four years in that role before leaving to join Uber.


Kevin Weil

Weil took over Twitter’s product operations following Graf’s short stint as product head. Even under Weil, the company had issues trying to figure out the right product direction for Twitter in order to reignite its user growth. Weil was the third product lead to leave in the past few years.

Photo: Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch


Alex Roetter

Roetter was tapped to be one of Twitter’s top executives following the departure of chief operating officer Ali Rowghani. As head of the company’s engineering operations, Roetter’s efforts included trying to make Twitter’s stream relevant for whomever logged in at whatever time. Roetter was also at the center of the controversy surrounding the departure of engingeering manager Leslie Miley from the company due to issues of diversity. He responded a couple of days later.


Katie Jacobs Stanton

And then as part of Sunday’s departures, Stanton also left the company. She started off working on international and business strategy for the company, but later took over its media efforts.

Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty Images


Jason Toff

Toff was a general manager of Vine that departed with the rest of the crowd that left on Sunday. He said that he was leaving to join Google to work on virtual reality.


Skip Schipper

Another departure in the company’s big exodus on Sunday, Schipper led Twitter’s human resources efforts. With so much turnover at the top, it’s clear Schipper’s role in keeping things rolling at the company was crucial.


Did we miss any?

Of course, this is just a small segment of the individuals that have left Twitter. Executive departures are common as companies grow and change in their direction — but there’s a chance that we may have overlooked some other large departures. Let us know in the comments if there are any we should add!