Twitter's Man In Question Is COO Ali Rowghani

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 12, 2014


Twitter is undergoing a major reshuffling of its top management, including a possible shift of its COO Ali Rowghani’s responsibilities, according to a report that was published in Re/Code. Sources familiar with the company told the news site that the company has already made some efforts to shift responsibility from Rowghani, who was considered one of Twitter’s most valuable assets at one point in time.

Giving an example, the Re/Code report states that Product VP Daniel Graf, who was hired in April, no longer reports to Rowghani, but now directly report to CEO Dick Costolo. While Twitter declined to comment on this development, the move clearly indicates a demotion for Rowghani, who in a way has been held responsible for the micro-blogging site’s lackluster growth and lack of product innovation. Many also started to question whether Twitter needs a COO at all, the report says.

Rowghani has been with the company for just over four years, prior to which he served as CFO from Pixar, where he was also CFO. He was elevated to COO’s position in late 2012.

The other person who may exit the company is North American media head Chloe Sladden, as per the Re/Code report, which states that her division, as well as the international growth and strategy unit under Katie Jacobs Stanton, report to Rowghani.

Twitter’s first-quarter results in April revealed slowing momentum at the company that exuberant investors just six months ago had argued could one day match Facebook’s scale. Expectations were raised high with the company expected to get 400 million users by the end of 2013, but ended the year with 240 million users and then saw 255 million at the end of the first quarter of 2014.

Ali Rowghani

Rowghani however has his share of credits too and is considered to be a well regarded CFO. Apart from initiating several partnerships and acquisitions, the IPO itself that he played a big part in was considered a very successful one, especially compared to that was Facebook’s IPO. Despite that, after it went public, shares of Facebook was up 72% and Twitter down 21%, says the report, adding that this is not due to its advertising growth, which has been strong, under sales head Adam Bain, but to its user growth and lack of product innovation which had been Rowghani’s responsibility.

If Rowghani steps down, much of the responsibility for setting expectations and communicating about Twitter’s successes would be shared by Graf as well as CEO Dick Costolo, who also has the additional responsibility of managing top executives.

Some however are supportive of this realignment as they believe “it’s a good thing to upgrade now and maybe bring in some new people,” which they believe would help the company evolve.

(Image Credit: B2BMarketing Insider)