Top executives fly the coop at Twitter, Foursquare

A top engineer at Twitter, and two business executives at Foursquare, are leaving

Twitter and Foursquare both said Thursday that some high-ranking executives would be stepping down, with the changes coming as both companies look to expand and try out new products.

Twitter said in a regulatory filing that Senior Vice President of Engineering Christopher Fry would be leaving, effective immediately, and shifting to an advisory role at the company, after just over a year on the job. Twitter did not say why he was leaving. The company said Alexander Roetter, currently vice president of engineering, would replace him.

Fry confirmed the news in a tweet of his own. Twitter declined to comment further.

Roetter has been with Twitter since 2010 and currently runs the company's advertiser, publisher and exchange engineering team.

Foursquare, meanwhile, said that Evan Cohen, its chief operating officer and the company's sixth employee, would be leaving at the end of June. Jeff Glueck, formerly CEO at mobile cloud computing company Skyfire and chief marketing officer at Travelocity, will take his place.

In addition, Holger Luedorf, who has led business development efforts at Foursquare for the past four years, is leaving Friday for the on-demand delivery company Postmates. He will be replaced by Mike Harkey, who has served in a business development role at Foursquare since 2012.

"Evan and Holger have been instrumental in growing Foursquare from a small shop to a company employing more than 170 people worldwide -- without them we wouldn't be where we are today," a company spokesman said.

For Foursquare today, that place is a crossroads. The company was one of the most closely watched social media startups a few years ago but now is struggling to find its niche. Foursquare's location check-in service was big when it launched, but as mobile has grown over the years, other social networking, messaging and discovery apps have flooded the landscape.

In an attempt to reinvigorate its service and gain new users, Foursquare recently split its app in two. A new app, Swarm, provides a messaging service and a way to see nearby friends. The main Foursquare app will pivot to focus more on location discovery, potentially presenting a new rival to Yelp.

Foursquare's executive departures come at a precarious time for the company, but new blood might be just what the company needs.

Twitter, for its part, is trying to appeal to a more mainstream audience since becoming a public company last year. The company's chief executive, Dick Costolo, says he wants to speed up product development. Engineering plays a big part in that, so Fry's departure could signal a stronger effort to move fast.

Costolo said this week at the Code Conference in Los Angeles that the company was experimenting with new ways to surface more relevant tweets for users.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags business issuesInternet-based applications and servicesFoursquaresocial networkingtwitterbusiness managementsocial mediainternetsearch enginespersonnel

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?