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Longtime Twitter Engineer Departs For Google

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Twitter has lost one more key executive, and this time it is its longest-tenured engineering lead Utkarsh Srivastava, says a report from Re/code. Utkarsh, who is moving to Google, joined Twitter in 2009 and was serving the micro-blogging firm as senior director of engineering, where he was entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the engineering team for Twitter’s main Timeline.

Twitter loses a key executive

Prior to this, Srivastava was the lead engineer for Twitter’s revenue products under Senior Engineering VP Alex Roetter. Re/code got to know from several sources that Srivastava played a crucial role in getting the company’s ad products off the ground, so his departure means a significant loss of talent for Twitter’s engineering team.

“After an amazing 6+ years at Twitter, I’m moving to @google. So long, and thanks tweeps, I couldn’t have asked for a better ride,” Srivastava tweeted.

Also Srivastava’s departure has come at an important time when the company is undergoing restructuring internally under new CEO Jack Dorsey. Twitter’s engineering team was hit hard during the company’s recent round of layoffs in October.

Google did not comment on what role Srivastava will play there, but according to a tweet from Srivastava, he will be developing products for messaging/communications. This means he will most likely be placed under Google’s Communications division, which handles Hangouts and its Project Fi wireless. If this is true, then Srivastava will be reporting to long-time Googler and former ad exec Nick Fox.

Give time to Dorsey

Citing sources, Re/code informs readers that Srivastava was looked upon as an eligible candidate to handle the responsibility of running the engineering for the core Twitter app alongside new product lead Jeff Seibert. Dorsey’s restructuring plans could be severely affected with the departure of top engineers.

Dorsey will need some time to deliver user growth and other positive results at Twitter, Jackdaw Research Chief Analyst Jan Dawson said last month.

“The results really didn’t give investors much to cheer either, with anaemic user growth and several other signs that things might be moving in the wrong direction,” Dawson said, referring to the company’s third-quarter results. Investors do not have much confidence on the company’s stock, the analyst said.

On Thursday, Twitter shares closed up 2.01% at $25.91. Year to date, the stock is down by almost 28%, while in the last one month, it is down by over 11%.

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