Twitter Said to Appoint New Head of Product as Growth Slows

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Kevin Weil
Twitter Inc.'s Kevin Weil has been appointed head of product. Photographer: Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Twitter Inc. appointed Kevin Weil head of product, broadening his responsibilities and shifting another executive into a different role as part of the change, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

Daniel Graf, who was hired from Google Inc. and had been head of consumer product since April, has moved into a special projects job, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Weil, who was previously head of revenue product, is the fifth product head at Twitter in as many years.

Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo is working to release new features more quickly, with Twitter trying to build up its user base and expand its tools for advertisers, said the person. The San Francisco-based company has struggled to increase membership fast enough to satisfy investors, even as revenue has risen.

Graf didn’t respond to a request for comment. Natalie Miyake, a Twitter spokeswoman, declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported Graf’s job change yesterday.

Twitter has cycled through several top executives this year, replacing its chief financial officer and ousting its chief operating officer. The company earlier this week lost a top engineering executive, Jeremy Gordon, as well as analytics manager Adam Kinney.

User Growth

Twitter reported on Oct. 27 that its number of users rose 23 percent to 284 million in the third quarter, down from 24 percent growth in the prior period. Sales more than doubled to $361.3 million.

“As the company grows and you go through these changes, the team is going to evolve,” Costolo said on Oct. 27 about the company’s management changes.

Graf’s hiring in April precipitated disagreements between Costolo and then-COO Ali Rowghani, people familiar with the matter have said. Rowghani resigned in June.

Graf had restructured the product team around an inner circle of recent hires, people familiar with the matter have said. To reinforce the focus on adding and keeping new users, he killed a series of side projects, the people said.

Twitter shares rose 0.3 percent to $41.93 at 10:10 a.m. in New York. Through yesterday, they are down more than 34 percent this year, compared with a 7.9 increase in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.