After an exodus of high-level executives at Twitter over the weekend, which caused the company’s shares to drop as much as 4.6% on Monday, it appears the social media company is on a high-profile hiring spree to stack its deck full of experienced leaders which can move the company past this turbulent period.
Twitter’s first major hire after its head of product, head of Vine, head of media, and senior vice president of engineering announced their departures from the company is former American Express executive Leslie Berland. Berland will be the company’s new chief marketing officer. The news was announced by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in, appropriately, a tweet. At American Express Berland was the VP of global advertising and, as Forbes notes, "helped the financial giant form its first social media strategies."
In a statement, Berland said, "Twitter is a service like no other. It has and continues to change the world, shaping how we communicate and connect, how we’re entertained, informed, and inspired. It represents everything that’s relevant at each and every moment—to me, there’s nothing more powerful."
The company is also close to hiring Natalie Kerris, the high-profile communications executive who recently left Apple after the company promoted Steve Dowling—instead of her—to fill Katie Cotton’s shoes as the head of PR. That bit of news comes from Re/code, which notes that over 14 years at Apple, Kerris worked alongside Steve Jobs on major product launches including the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air.
The communications position is an important one for the social media company to fill as the company navigates arguably the toughest time in its history. Investors are leery of the direction Twitter is headed in and its user base growth seems to have slowed to a crawl. The social media giant needs an experienced head of communications to convey to both users and investors what is in it for them to stick with the company.
As Re/code notes, Twitter has previously described the kind of exec it was looking for in a communications director: "It continues to be essential that we show the world the value of Twitter. Communications is a key component of that, and to help build toward a stronger future, we are looking now to shift our communications strategy and direction."
The site notes that as far as it knows, Kerris hasn’t been officially hired yet. But if (or when) she is, she’ll report directly to new CMO Leslie Berland.