Twitter Inc. on Thursday announced the resignation of its chief operating officer, who had been responsible for the social media company’s increasingly urgent efforts to revive user growth.
Ali Rowghani, who had also served as chief financial officer at Twitter and had been the CFO at Pixar Animation Studios, had been praised for orchestrating a series of financing deals for Twitter that culminated in a successful initial public offering in 2013. Since 2012, he had also been given decision-making power for Twitter’s core social media product as well as for increasing the number of users and boosting revenue.
But the mood within the San Francisco company turned sour over the past half-year as user growth flagged and its stock price traded at nearly half its value six months ago.
Twitter shares jumped 3 percent to $36.53 on Thursday.
The micro-blogging website said it did not intend to replace Rowghani, whose responsibilities will be taken over by other managers.
Rowghani will continue to be a Twitter employee, serving as a strategic adviser to the chief executive officer, it said.
Twitter hired Google Inc. executive Daniel Graf to lead its product development in April, which paved the way for Rowghani’s departure, analysts said.
Some analysts warned the shake-up would not be enough.
“His resignation implies that the platform has not seen acceleration in important user and engagement metrics,” Jordan Rohan, an Internet analyst at Stifel, wrote in a research memo. “However, at this point we are not sure if or when user engagement will rebound.”
Technology news website Re/code reported on Wednesday that Twitter was considering a shake-up in top management, including a possible shift in the duties of Rowghani.
Chloe Sladden, Twitter’s North America media head, who had reported to Rowghani, has been reorganizing her unit and may be preparing to leave the company, the website added.
Twitter did not comment on Sladden in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
Twitter’s first-quarter results in April revealed a slowing in momentum. Just six months ago, exuberant investors had argued Twitter could one day match Facebook Inc.’s scale.