Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced on Twitter late Sunday night the departure of 4 executives: vice president of engineering Alex Roetter, senior vice president of product Kevin Weil, global media head, Katie Stanton, and vice president of human resources Brian “Skip” Schipper.
Dorsey used the service he heads to confirm the shake up. In the announcement, he stated the four would be taking some much needed time off.
According to reports, the company has enacted a temporary transition plan. The plan has COO Adam Bain adopting the responsibilities of the human resources and media departments. CTO Adam Messinger’s new responsibilities include combining the engineering, consumer product, design and research, user services, and fabric teams into a single group.
Twitter has been at the center of 2 simultaneous controversies in recent months. First, a Canadian court ruled last week Gregory Alan Elliot was not guilty of criminal harassment against activists Stephanie Guthrie and Heather Reiley in 2012. The ruling is regarded as a victory for advocates of free speech on the Internet.
The second controversy is the de-verification of Breitbart commentator Milo Yiannopolous. According to Twitter’s own help page, verifications are currently used to establish authenticity of identities of individuals and brands on Twitter. Twitter has a section on de-verification, and a specific line item about de-verification being a consequence of violations of Twitter rules and Terms of Service. However, the alleged motivations behind Yiannopolous's de-verification remain contentious among the tech press and Yiannopolous and his supporters and Twitter followers.
The changes come at a time of uncertainty for Twitter. The publicly traded company’s stick value has been steadily in decline 9 months, after hitting it’s high in the mid 60’s in early 2014. The stock is current trading below $20 per share amid concerns about stagnation in user growth. Twitter has been debating changing the 140 character limit on tweets to ten thousand characters since September 2015.