Confirming a bunch of disparate blog rumors about individual hires, Twitter confirmed on Tuesday--after previously declining to comment--that it's building out a sales team and has hired a News Corp. veteran to helm it.
Adam Bain, previously serving as the head of News Corp.'s Fox Audience Network (the conglomerate's unit for online advertising operations, technology, and sales; prior to that, Bain had been News Corp. chief technology officer) has joined Twitter with the lofty title of "president of global revenue." The ambiguity of the title reflects the fact that Twitter eventually wants to look beyond traditional advertising (well, as "traditional" as its "promoted tweets" and paid spots in its "trending topics" box really are) for revenue. The company has also launched @earlybird, a daily-deals channel in the vein of the Amazon-owned Woot, and still plans to roll out some kind of business analytics service for paid customers. It also has search deals in place with a handful of big players in the market.
Additionally, Twitter announced that Brent Hill, a former Google sales exec, has also been hired as director of sales for the central U.S. region. Two more sales reps, Amanda Levy and Dan Coughlin, were reported to have joined the company earlier this summer.
"With Adam and Brent joining the team, we now have senior sales executives from a wide spectrum of industry leaders, including Fox, Google, Facebook and Yelp, comprising our leadership team," a statement from Twitter Chief Operating Officer Dick Costolo read. "We expect this team to build on our already strong momentum in providing promotions and deals that bring value to both users and an increasing number of brands."
Ad sales hires won't directly be doing anything to keep Twitter's embarrassingly unstable servers afloat, but ideally will be able to ramp up the revenue to fund enhanced development and infrastructure in the face of rapid growth. Plus, Twitter has been fighting the common wisdom in its attempt to prove that it can, in fact, turn a profit; many in the industry thought it would be impossible to make any money off 140-character messages. There's still some convincing to be done.