Twitter loses COO to online lending firm SoFi

Anthony, Noto, SoFi, Twitter
Anthony Noto

Twitter’s chief operation officer Anthony Noto has stepped down and joined financial technology company Social Finance (SoFi) as its chief executive. Noto is expected to begin his role at SoFi in March.

When he had joined Twitter in 2014 as its CFO, Noto’s previous Wall Street stint had got the investors optimistic about the growth of the social media firm, which was at that time straining to keep up with competition.  His exit from the firm comes at a time of stable growth and more engaged users on Twitter’s platform.

According to media reports, people familiar with the matter say Noto’s decision wasn’t surprising as he had always aimed to be a CEO.

Bloomberg reported, “Noto’s take-action attitude has been an important balancing presence to chief executive Jack Dorsey’s introverted leadership style, according to people familiar with the matter. Losing him may deal a blow to the company’s momentum.”

Co-founder Dorsey, who is also the CEO of Square Inc, became the chief executive at Twitter in 2015 with no plans for him to give up the position, even more than two years later. Considering this, Bloomberg reported that the best possible option for Noto was to accept the role at SoFi.

Even though losing Noto to SoFi will have an impact on Twitter, people familiar with Dorsey’s thought-process reveal that it isn’t seen as a threat to Twitter’s turnaround efforts, said Bloomberg.

Dorsey tweeted, “I’m really sad to see @anthonynoto leave us, but I’m happy for him and really proud of everything he’s accomplished at Twitter. He’s been a friend, partner, and mentor to me for years. He always has my support and gratitude. Thank you, Anthony.”

Having outdone Wall Street’s sales estimates in late October, at least six analysts have upgraded Twitter citing “greater user engagement”, thanks to enhancements in the firm’s product.  User engagement refers to the time users spend interacting through the firm’s site.

Doug Anmuth, an analyst at JPMorgan, wrote in a note to investors, “While we are obviously disappointed in Noto’s departure, we do not view it as thesis-changing. We continue to believe both the Twitter story and financial results will strengthen over the next year.”



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