Twitter Anthony Noto

  • On Tuesday, Anthony Noto, the man running Twitter under part-time CEO Jack Dorsey, resigned to take a CEO role at a fintech startup.
  • Noto was credited for creating Twitter’s growth strategy in video and was the person who knew Twitter more intimately than anyone.
  • This can only be seen as a bad sign for the endlessly struggling internet company, says one top internet analyst.

Rumors had been swirling for days that Twitter’s COO, Anthony Noto, was talking with fintech startup Social Finance (aka SoFi) to become its next CEO.

And on Tuesday, it happened. Two days before Twitter will report its fourth quarter and year-end financials, the news became official. Noto resigned from Twitter effective immediately. He will begin as SoFi’s CEO on March 1.

It’s a move that makes sense for Noto in many ways. Noto is an ambitious former Goldman Sachs banker who was widely known to be dreaming of a CEO role.

Noto was credited for designing Twitter’s most recent strategy to drive growth: its expansion into video. Most insiders thought that he was hoping to become CEO of Twitter, if cofounder Jack Dorsey ever decided to stop being a part-time CEO and focus on his other company, Square. But Dorsey has shown no signs of that and so Noto has taken his final bow at Twitter.

But the news and the timing of it, so close to the release of Twitter’s year-end quarter, is not a good sign at all for Twitter, says RBC Capital’s Mark Mahaney. Mahaney is one of the gurus of internet stocks, and he’s been bearish on Twitter for a while.

“I don’t see how anyone could interpret this as a good thing for Twitter,” Mahaney told Business Insider. “Twitter started out with a managerial hole, with the CEO part time. That gap has deepened.”

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