CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Tech Industry

Twitter loses key exec Anthony Noto at a challenging moment

The chief operating officer, who's leaving to become CEO of a startup, has been a strong force in Twitter's day-to-day operations.

Twitter's chief operating officer, Anthony Noto, is leaving the flock to become the CEO of financial startup SoFi.

Noto, one of Twitter's most vocal executives, joined the social network in 2014.

"Anthony has been an incredible advocate for Twitter and a trusted partner to me and our leadership team," Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a statement Tuesday.

Twitter has announced live streaming
NurPhoto

Noto was instrumental in Twitter's big push for live video on the platform, including a deal to stream NFL Thursday Night Football games in 2016. His departure, which comes a little more than two weeks before Twitter announces its earnings on Feb. 8, is yet another shake-up in the company's executive ranks. Noto replaced former chief operating officer Adam Bain, who left in late 2016 after six years with the company.

Noto came to Twitter from Goldman Sachs as the social network was preparing to go public in 2014.

Twitter is also facing many other challenges, not just on its executive front. The company faces increasing scrutiny from Congress over the way the social network was used by Russian propagandists during the divisive 2016 US presidential election. Twitter said last week that Russian meddling was more widespread than it initially estimated and that it plans to notify more than 600,000 of its users in the US who liked or retweeted messages from Russian-linked accounts.

Noto is slated to become SoFi CEO on March 1, when interim CEO Tom Hutton will become a non-executive chairman of the board. 

It will be hard for the company to replace Noto, who basically ran Twitter's day-to-day operations, said Gartner analyst Brian Blau. The company still has to overcome stagnant user growth --  it's been hovering around 330 million users -- as other social networks, like Facebook with its 2 billion users, continue to flourish.

"You have a public company that has a known, popular brand in the mainstream that's used heavily by a certain president and monitored by the media, but they still haven't been able to truly capitalize on it," Blau said. "It's going to be interesting to see who wants to take [Noto's] position." 

Twitter said Noto's responsibilities within its business and revenue operations will be assumed by other members of the leadership team.

Shares of Twitter were down as much 3 percent Tuesday in early market trading.

Noto said in a statement he appreciated his time at Twitter. 

"While it's bittersweet to depart," he said, "I have the utmost confidence in Twitter's future and look forward to watching the wonderful success the team will continue to achieve."

First published Jan. 23 at 6:29 a.m. PT.
Update at 8:07 a.m. PT: Adds more information, background and comments from an analyst.