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Tumultuous Twitter torches top talent, topples COO

Rowghani out as company plans to eliminate exec role

The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

Twitter has announced that its chief operating officer (COO) will be leaving the company and will not be replaced.

The company issued a 407 character (2.9 Tweet) statement [PDF] to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to inform that Ali Rowghani had resigned from his position and would be moving to an advisory role.

Twitter said that it will not be hiring a replacement, instead handing out Rowghani's former duties to other members of the executive team. Rowghani later confirmed the news with a farewell Tweet to the company.

Rowghani had been with Twitter since 2010. Starting out as chief financial officer, he would move into the COO role in 2012, and was considered to be the second in command at the company behind CEO Dick Costolo. Prior to joining Twitter he worked at Pixar.

The move comes as the profit-impaired Twitter continues to struggle to meet shareholder expectations. In April, the firm irked investors when it reported a net loss of $132m over its last financial quarter. Though revenues are growing, the firm has yet to break out of the red in its quarterly earnings.

As a result, Twitter's stock price has taken a beating in recent months, down 35 per cent since last December. Shortly after the news of Rowghani's departure broke, Twitter stock rose to close out the day up 3.52 per cent.

This has not been an easy week for Twitter by any means. On Wednesday the company's security team was sent scrambling after researchers disclosed a major security flaw in the TweetDeck platform which allowed for cross-site scripting attacks. The move prompted warnings for users to completely disable the TweetDeck platform on their profiles until a fix was deployed later in the day.

The flaw was reported by a 19-year-old Austrian student, who claims to have informed Twitter of the vulnerability but received no response from the company until proof-of-concept code began circulating. ®

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