Twitter loses three more senior employees ahead of Musk takeover

All three chose to exit on their own, according to internal memos described to Bloomberg News.

By Bloomberg

Twitter Inc. is losing three more senior employees, including two vice presidents, a reflection of the uncertainty inside the social media company as staffers wait for Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition to close.

Ilya Brown, a VP of product management; Katrina Lane, VP of Twitter Service; and Max Schmeiser, head of data science, are all leaving the company, according to internal memos described to Bloomberg. All three chose to exit on their own, according to the memos.

A Twitter spokeswoman confirmed the executives’ departures.

Less than a week ago, Twitter shook up its product organization, including firing two top product executives by Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal. Twitter also instituted budget cuts and implemented a hiring freeze last week, and while the company said it was not planning layoffs, Agrawal told employees in an email, “Leaders will continue making changes to their organizations to improve efficiencies as needed.”

Twitter employees are in a state of limbo as the San Francisco-based company waits for Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla Inc., to finalize his deal to take the social network private for $54.20 a share. At all-hands meetings over the past month, Twitter executives have faced questions about stock compensation and job security. During one presentation, leadership tried to motivate employees by reminding them why they should bother showing up for work.

Complicating matters has been Musk’s provocative tweeting and public comments. He has criticized Twitter executives and is now saying the company may be misleading the public about how many bot and spam accounts are included in Twitter’s calculation for total users.

Musk has said the deal is “on hold” until he gets more information. Twitter said it’s committed to completing the sale. The shares, which had dropped for seven straight trading days, rose 2.9% to $38.47 in the late afternoon New York time on Tuesday. That’s still far below the offer price, indicating investor skepticism that the deal will come to fruition.

The Twitter spokeswoman said about the departing employees: “We are thankful for all of their hard work and leadership,” according to her emailed statement. “We continue to be focused on providing the very best experience to the people on Twitter.”

(Updates with Twitter shares in seventh paragraph.)

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