Twitter fired its head of revenue Bruce Falck, a veteran in the ad tech world, amid a wider shakeup before Elon Musk likely takes over ownership later this year.
On Thursday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal sent a memo to staff, obtained by Bloomberg News, announcing that Falck was out. Twitter also fired Kayvon Beykpour, head of product. Falck was instrumental in developing Twitter’s automated ad platform and other revenue products since he joined the company in 2017.
“When all is said and done, it's the work that matters,” Falck said in a farewell tweet on Thursday. “We upgraded our ad serving, prediction, analytics, attribution, billing, API, and many more systems, substantially improving our reliability and scalability.”
For years, Twitter had been behind in performance marketing technology, and it was not seen as a go-to platform for advertisers that needed to generate leads, sales and downloads. But in 2020, Falck helped lead a redesign of the ad server. Before Twitter, Falck had been CEO of the ad tech firm Turn, and he used to work at Amobee, BrightRoll and Google.
“I met with him often,” said one advertising exec, who is close to Twitter and spoke on condition of anonymity, “usually to either inspire him to create new ad products or bitch about new, or lack of, new ad products.”
Attempts to reach Falck for comment were unsuccessful.
Twitter is in a precarious position with advertisers that are uncertain about Musk. In April, Musk signed a deal for $44 billion to take Twitter private. The deal could still fall through, but Musk has been securing financing in recent weeks to make it a reality. Advertisers have mostly been concerned about moderation policies that could make the platform even more contentious. For instance, Musk has said he would reverse the ban on former President Donald Trump, who was kicked off the platform last year following the Jan. 6 attack on Congress.
Brands are mostly worried that permitting more politically charged rhetoric will lower the quality of discourse on Twitter. Musk also is seen as averse to advertising, but Musk does want to grow Twitter’s ad revenue to $26.4 billion by 2028, according to an investor pitch deck reported by The New York Times. Twitter made $4.5 billion in ad revenue in 2021.
In the memo, Agrawal said Twitter needed to make cutbacks, saying the company has not met its goals. Agrawal said it did not plan mass layoffs, but would implement a hiring freeze and rescind recent job offers.