Twitter staff are flying away

The social network's struggles are causing employees to fly the nest.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 09 Dec 2015

There’s a significant exodus going on at Twitter right now, with staff spreading their wings to escape flagging growth and the lack of a permanent chief executive.

More than 450 employees, about 12% of the total, have left the social network in the last year, according to an FT analysis of LinkedIn profiles. Despite the real number probably being higher, the company has still increased staff numbers by 18% in the last 12 months.

The employee outflow started in June last year, when Twitter lost chief operating officer Ali Rowghani and VP of media Chloe Sladden on the same day. It has since lost a number of staff from its business development team and comms chief Gabriel Stricker announced his resignation less than two weeks ago.

It’s not exactly surprising given Twitter’s struggles to grow and monetise its audience fast enough to keep up with Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, Instagram & Whatsapp empire. Since floating in 2013 its shares have fallen 22.7%.

Chief executive Dick Costolo’s resignation in June can’t have helped either. Chairman, co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey is currently interim boss and has a mandate to turn around user growth. But his presence is also an uncomfortable reminder of the merry-go-round of chief execs Costolo’s appointment was meant to stop.

That carousel seems to have spread down the ranks at the company. Clearly, you’d expect some level at turnover in such a fast-changing industry, but losing so many staff is a sign that the turmoil at Twitter, which reports half-year results later today, is far from over.

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