Twitter names its first-ever marketing chief

Leslie Berland, who had been at American Express, arrives amid upheaval in Twitter's executive offices.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Twitter is counting on its new marketing chief Leslie Berland to revive the company's image.


Add in another change to Twitter's executive ranks already this week.

On Tuesday, the microblogging site announced that its new chief marketing officer will be Leslie Berland, formerly marketing vice president at American Express. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed the new hire via a tweet in which he said that Berland will "join as our CMO to help tell the stories of our iconic product!" Specifically, she'll handle the company's global consumer, product and sales marketing.

Berland will take over the marketing duties from chief financial officer Anthony Noto, who had been juggling the role on a temporary basis. This will be the first time Twitter will have a dedicated marketing chief, AdWeek said last July, when the search for a marketing chief began.

She arrives at a challenging time for Twitter, which has been struggling to improve its appeal to investors, advertisers and users alike. This week's shakeup in the executive suite is just the latest step toward reinvigoration under the watch of Dorsey, who took over the CEO reins last year. A key problem to address: Twitter's user base -- 320 million monthly users as of last July -- has hardly budged in recent months as consumers turn their social media energies to services like Facebook and Instagram.

On Monday, Dorsey announced the exodus of several top-level executives, including head of media Katie Jacobs Stanton, product chief Kevin Weil, engineering chief Alex Roetter and human resources leader Brian "Skip" Schipper.

Twitter has already been trying to beef up its service and its brand through new features.

Last October, the company introduced Moments, a feature that displays news, photos and videos of the latest worldwide events in real time, as a way to draw in more active users. To lure in advertisers and revenue as well, Twitter has kicked off a series of "Promoted Moments" campaigns through which companies can promote their products and services.

Twitter's other challenge is convincing investors that the company retains some appeal. Over the past 12 months, its stock has tumbled from a high of $53 a share to a current low of around $16 per share.

At American Express, Berland led a team that created marketing campaigns with such companies as Apple, Uber, Samsung, Facebook, Google and Twitter itself. She also helped create American Express's first social media strategies and presence.

"Twitter is a service like no other," Berland said in a statement. "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."