It’s not a great week to own Twitter stock.
Multiple top-level executives have left the company, and the stock is sliding downwards.
The stock is sitting around $16.50, after dropping 4% — and losing 12% of its value over the last week.
On Tuesday, the news broke that the struggling social network’s chief technology officer, Adam Messinger, and its VP of product, Josh McFarland, were both leaving the company.
They’re the latest in an exodus of top executives: Adam Bain, Twitter’s COO, stepped down in November. And Richard Alfonsi, VP of ad sales, jumped ship at the start of December for Stripe — a company also run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Analysts are expressing alarm at the news. In an investor note, analysts at Mizuho wrote that “one C-Level departure is a red flag; two in a quarter is very disconcerting.”
The changes, they warned, could “create significant investment risks. We believe this could impact morale at the company, and could potentially jeopardize business as marketers might view the firm as a less stable platform to partner with.”
Cantor Fitzgerald is less negative, speculating that the executives may have been pushed out the door as part of a re-organisation: “It’s hard to know for certain, but some of these changes seem to be involuntary as management tries to flatten the reporting functions and streamline the organisation by having engineering, product and design management functions report directly into CEO Dorsey.”
Trip Chowdry from Global Equities Research is far more damning. In a note seen by CNBC, he argues that Twitter is “toast” and “not even a $10 stock.”
He added: “Many investors were foolishly building (an) investment thesis based on complete stupidity.”
Since becoming CEO in 2015, Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey has struggled to turn the ailing social network around. It is beset on multiple fronts: Its user growth is flat, it has significant losses, the platform has a reputation for highly abusive behaviour, it has been through rounds of layoffs, and its stock is far, far below its giddy heights of $70+ in early 2014.
Twitter explored a possible sale earlier in 2016, but it fell through — with potential buyers Salesforce and Disney reportedly put off in part because of Twitter’s harassment problem.
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