Twitter was reported (by TechCrunch) to have hired Gregory Gopman, CEO of AngelHack, as a contracted VR program manager. Yesterday the same website reported that Gopman had been fired, and amid all this, what’s interesting is that the publication may be partly blamed for Gopman’s exit.
Three-year-old post comes back to haunt Gopman
As of now, there has been no comment from Twitter on this, “but the quick reversal may have to do with an old social media post that TechCrunch ran in full as part of its story,” suggests Quartz. It must be noted that Gopman had been employed at Twitter for a few weeks, but his hiring came to light only a few days ago.
In a Facebook post in 2013, Gopman criticized San Francisco for its streets becoming overrun by “crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash.” The post has since been deleted, and for past some time, Gopman has spent time in understanding and addressing the city’s homelessness and mental health issues, notes Quartz.
Not good for Twitter VR or HR
It’s disappointing to see that Twitter’s HR did no background search before hiring Gopman. Even a simple Google search of Gopman’s name would bring up the results of what he posted three years ago. What’s interesting is that Twitter’s headquarters is in the San Francisco neighborhood called the Tenderloin, which is home to some 6,000 homeless residents, notes Quartz.
Also Gopman’s hiring doesn’t bode well for Twitter’s VR strategy, though it does not have much to be proud of. On one hand, where Facebook is moving ahead with its 360-degree video camera support and demonstrations of how users can digitally hang out using its platform, Twitter has not showcased any virtual reality apps. According to TechCrunch, all of Twitter’s VR/AR efforts are handled by its Cortex engineering group, which has not revealed anything since hiring former Apple UI designer Alessandro Sabatelli to lead the team in June.
TechCrunch to blame?
There have been no comments from Twitter about if they have actually fired Gopman, or, if they have, whether it’s because of that Facebook post three years ago. But TechCrunch updated its story with a new Facebook post from Gopman reading, “Anddd I’m fired. Thanks TechCrunch… They wrote a smash piece on me last night and comms didn’t want to deal with it.”
Gopman told TechCrunch in a statement, “Working at Twitter was actually awesome. Much better than I expected. I worked on an incredible team and we were doing really amazing things. Yesterday we were flying. And now it’s all over. I still love them and wish them the best.”