Twitter's COO Exits, With CFO to Fill Role

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Twitter Chief Operating Officer Adam Bain, who built the company's business model, is leaving just as the company works to address slowing revenue growth.

Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto will shift to Mr. Bain's job, and the social-media company has started a search for a new finance chief, Twitter said Wednesday in a statement. Mr. Noto's new responsibilities include global advertising sales, data and revenue products, as well as partnerships and business development, the San Francisco-based company said.

Mr. Bain assembled Twitter's sales team and built its advertising from nothing into a business projected to generate $2.55 billion in revenue this year. Growth has slowed in recent quarters, hampered by the site's stagnant user numbers. Without growth in Twitter's audience, Mr. Bain's team has had trouble persuading advertisers to spend more.

Twitter in September hired banks to explore a sale of the company, but all three potential bidders -- Walt Disney, Salesforce and Alphabet's Google -- backed away. Afterward, the company said it would cut 9% of staff, concentrated in the sales and marketing areas that Mr. Bain runs.

"I'm excited to take with me everything I've experienced at Twitter & do something totally different and new outside the company," Mr. Bain said in a tweet. The executive is well-liked by advertisers, even those who say the company's product is lacking. He was once considered a candidate for chief executive officer, before the company brought back co-founder Jack Dorsey for the job, and has often been courted by competitors. Twitter shares fell in late trading after the announcement.

Mr. Bain's departure gives Mr. Noto room to formalize his increasing control over the company's strategy. He was already doing more than an average chief financial officer. In particular, he has championed Twitter's live video strategy, making deals with sports and news companies to stream their content. It's now a key part of Twitter's plan to revive growth.

-- Bloomberg News