Twitter has poached new talent from an unlikely place: Facebook.
The company's new sales director for the central U.S. from Dallas to Detroit is Brad Keown, a Facebook veteran of almost six years who most recently oversaw his former employer's relationship with Omnicom agencies worldwide and was previously its midwest sales chief.
Instances of Facebook executives departing for Twitter's greener pastures have been few and far between at a senior level. (One significant exception was when Twitter hired Facebook's director of media sales, Dan Coughlin, to be its East Coast sales director in 2010; he's since left the company. Facebook's revolving door has more frequently opened into Pinterest, which last year went on a hiring spree and hired the likes of Don Faul to be head of operations and Tim Kendall to be head of product.
Meanwhile, Twitter has been extremely successful in courting sales executives from Google over the past year. Notable hires include Matt Derella, director of agency and brand strategy; Richard Alfonsi, VP-global SMB and mid-market sales; Bruce Daisley, U.K. sales director (formerly of YouTube); and Stephen McIntyre, director of European mid-market sales.
Based in Chicago, Mr. Keown will focus on large brands (the likes of P&G and various automakers are in his territory) and report to Twitter's head of revenue Adam Bain. At Facebook, he reported to VP-global partnerships Blake Chandlee. He's stepping into a role previously occupied by Brent Hill, a former Google executive who joined a venture-capital firm, Origin Ventures, in January.
Explaining the reason for his move, Mr. Keown said he was intrigued by the real-time marketing opportunities on Twitter, as well as the second-screen phenomenon it's at the center of.
"The work they're doing on the research side is fascinating, and in the next several years, there are a lot of exciting things Twitter and TV will be doing together," he said.