Twitter Hires Google Advertising Executive Ahead of IPO

Twitter Inc. has hired a Google Inc. (GOOG) advertising executive to be head of retail, as the company ramps up hiring and works to expand its business ahead of an initial public offering.

J.J. Hirschle, who directed media and entertainment advertising at Google, will be responsible for the team selling advertising products to retail companies, Will Stickney, a spokesman for Twitter, said yesterday. He starts Oct. 28.

The hire comes as Twitter builds up its advertising business by reaching out to retailers, among others. The San Francisco-based company, which is preparing to go public in the most-anticipated U.S. technology offering since Facebook Inc. (FB) last year, has disclosed in its S-1 prospectus that it is growing revenue from advertising, even as it remains unprofitable.

Twitter has been hiring quickly to beef up its workforce and expand its business. In a filing this week, the company said it added 300 employees in the third quarter, for a total of 2,300. Twitter has been in talks to lease a 320,000-square-foot office space adjacent to its San Francisco headquarters as it grows, people with knowledge of the discussions have said.

Twitter has poached from Google before. Last year, Twitter hired Shailesh Rao, who had been leading Google’s display-advertising sales in Asia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

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