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Twitter COO Rowghani Resigns From Job on Twitter

Twitter COO Rowghani Resigns From Job on Twitter Re code


Ali Rowghani, COO of Twitter, resigned from his job at the social networking site, announcing the move in a tweet.

While his tweet makes clear he is leaving the company, according to a company filing, he is staying as a “strategic advisor” to CEO Dick Costolo. Translation: He’s leaving.

The move is likely to reinforce the image of Twitter as a bit of a revolving door and a place of management chaos. Others think the fixing of an exec structure that is not working is a good thing.

The San Francisco-based social communications company said it was axing the COO position altogether, noting it “does not intend to hire a replacement for the COO role, and all of Mr. Rowghani’s operating responsibilities will be assumed by other members of the Twitter management team.”

I’ll translate that too, since Rowghani — despite his high status — did not actually have much reporting to him at this point. The product org, now headed by recent hire and former Google exec Daniel Graf, reports already to Costolo.

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Resignation in the middle of a quarter instead of during a conference call seems unusual in timing for a COO who has been there for years.

Here's why:

All product decisions had been flowing into Rowghani. CEO Dick Costolo wanted those decisions to come to him directly. Cutting a management layer between the product leader and the CEO will help Twitter make faster, more efficient changes to its products. 

The better Twitter's product gets, in theory, the more users it gets. Twitter's usage is below expectations inside the company and outside the company. It has 255 million members and is growing slowly. (Instagram is expected to overtake it any day now.)

A different source familiar with the inner workings of Twitter explained the move to us by saying, "I think there was a sense that Ali didn't have product instincts, didn't know how to successfully win at least two problems: messaging and topics."

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