As 2016 comes to an end, Twitter is closing out the year the same way it ushered it in, by losing two more executives. Last month, COO Adam Bain stepped down from his post. Now, CTO Adam Messinger has announced he will be leaving too.
Twitter stock stumbled about five percent after the news, but the big question most people — investors and users alike — have is ‘what’s really going on at Twitter. You don’t lose your top people when everything is going as it should.
There’s not much concrete to go on as to why people are leaving, but six of the ten leaders Twitter started 2016 with are now gone. More than half. Think about that for a moment. If an offensive line loses three out of five, the whole offense can shut down, even with decent replacements. For a company that must be as innovative and nimble as Twitter to lose more than half of its top leaders could be a major problem — as well as the result or a symptom of that problem… no one seems willing to say.
Whatever the reasons, this just adds to the pressure current CEO Jack Dorsey faces. First and foremost, Dorsey is dealing with helming two top tech brands — Twitter and Square. He does this with a mix of smarts, a sleepless work schedule and loads of caffeine, but can he manage to keep the boat moving in the right direction when all his oarsmen are jumping ship?
It’s hard to say. In a recent article in CNN, Dorsey credited great teams at both companies for his ability to make what should be impossible a “doable” scenario. These days, analysts are beginning to call his potential for continued success into doubt. They don’t think Dorsey working essentially part time, especially with a crew that is either decimated or relatively inexperienced, is a sustainable model for success.
Dorsey, for his part, has a couple of choices. Either he can keep the status quo and attempt to cement his role as a tech CEO Superman, he could recruit or promote top talent and spend more time cultivating them into their position … or he could leave one job and give all his energy and time to another.
None of these choices mean Twitter would be protected from what could be some rough months ahead, but one thing is certain, decisions will need to be made soon.
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W PR in NYC.