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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jaitley joined Twitter in 2012, as India Market Director
  • Since 2015, he has been VP Media for Asia Pacific and Middle East
  • He did not announce why he is leaving Twitter

Twitter has been going through some tumultuous changes in recent times, and now in Twitter India head Rishi Jaitly announced – via a series of tweets, naturally – that he is leaving the company. Jaitly had joined Twitter in November 2012 as the India Market Director for the company. This was expanded to India and Southeast Asia in 2014, and for the last one year, he has been the Vice President, Media, Asia Pacific & Middle East North Africa, Twitter. Jaitly had earlier worked at Google as head of public-private partnerships from 2007-2009. At the time, he would have worked with Shailesh Rao, who was then the Managing Director, India, at Google. Rao joined Twitter in February 2012, as Vice President, International Operations; he also quit the company in July this year, announcing that it was time for new plans.

Now, Jaitly has followed suit, similarly stating that it is time to move on to new opportunities, with the same mission. In his tweets, Jaitly says: “My mission remains the same: harness tech/ media’s scale to connect users/ citizens to their voice/ agency/ leadership in places they care about. I myself care deeply about the United States, India, emerging markets and intend to devote myself to building bridges in service of my mission.”

For now though, Jaitly will be leaving for Chicago, owing to a “personal/ civic calling”, though he reiterated that he will spend a lot of time in India/ Asia.

These changes are taking place against a backdrop of troubles for Twitter. The company has had to face layoffs as revenue growth has slowed – the company had to let go of hundreds of people, amounting to nearly a tenth of its workforce. Attempts at a buyout haven’t gone well either, reportedly because of the abuse problem on Twitter. The company also shut down the Vine video service.

It’s trying to improve at least some things with changes to its interface – for example by removing usernames from tweet replies to allow you to have more content in your tweet without changing the character limit. However, the implementation has drawn a lot of criticism from people who’ve gotten to try it out. Whether the company can pull out of this tailspin remains to be seen, but losing senior leadership probably can’t help.