Twitter lures away third Google employee this year

Matt Derella is now Twitter's new director of agency business development

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
October 22, 2012
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Twitter has hired Google Executive Matt Derella as its new director of agency business development. 

Derella confirmed on his Twitter account, writing: “Thrilled to join the Flock today! Excited to collaborate with innovative agencies to build world-class partnerships.” Derella's move was first reported by AdAge Monday. 

Derella was Google’s agency relations chief, and he handled the search engine’s relationship with Publicis, the world’s third largest holding companies by revenue. At Twitter, Derella will be responsible for establishing relationships at other ad holding companies.

He will be based out of New York and will report to Joel Lunenfeld, Twitter’s VP of global brand strategies, and former CEO of the digital agency Moxie Interactive.

"Twitter understands that agencies are going to be a really important part of the Twitter advertising ecosystem, and they understand that we need to invest in our agency partners," Derella told AdAge.

"If there are agencies out there who are unsure about Twitter, part of my job will be to understand what those concerns are and hopefully bring out some facts and some case studies and some examples for why we believe it's an amazing platform for brands to connect with consumers.”

When VatorNews asked Twitter for comment on the hiring, they simply redirected us to this Tweet.

A whole lot of poaching going on

Derella is not the first person that Twitter has lured over from Twitter this year.

In April director of global communications Gabriel Stricker announced he was joining Twitter, and in June it was VP of global online sales Richard Alfonsi who left Google to join the social network.

With all the employee poaching going on, let's take a look at twwo companies that have gone on opposite trajectories in terms of being able to lure away employees from other companies: Google and Zynga.

Since becoming CEO of Yahoo in June, Marissa Mayer has been hiring likes its nobody’s business, and a number of her new employees have come from Google, where Mayer was the first female engineer.

Mayer brought in former Google product marketing manager Andrew Schulte to be her new chief of staff. Mayer also hired Anne Espiritu, who ran consumer technology PR for Google, to handle corporate communications. Just last week she lured away Henrique de Castro, vice president of Google's Worldwide Partner Business Solutions group, to be her new chief operating officer.

In August, Mayer hired Kathy Savitt, the founder and CEO of social commerce website Lockerz , as the new CMO at Yahoo.

It was also rumored in August that Mayer was attempted to woo Katie Jacobs Stanton, Twitter’s VP of international strategy, for an unspecified position at Yahoo.

On the other end of the spectrum has been Zynga, who has been hemorrhaging employees the last few months, as its outlook sinks.

Laurence “Lo” Toney, general manager of Zynga Poker, chief security officer Nils Puhlmann, chief revenue officer of Omgpop Wilson Kriegel, Chief Operating Officer John Schappert and Chief Creative Officer Mike Verdu have all left the company, though it is unclear where they went to work.

One of the people who we know left the company for another job was Alan Patmore, general manager of CityVille, who left to work at Kixeye.

Patmore was recently sued by Zynga for allegedly stealing files which included internal assessments of Zynga games, over 10,000 design documents, information concerning revenue and employee compensation, and 14 months of confidental communications regarding product reviews, business strategies, acquisition targets, market analysis, key hires, sales projections and financial estimates.

The relationship between Zynga and Kixeye seems to go beyond just business. Not only has Kixeye made videos that trashed Zynga, the company has also lashed out in response to the lawsuit.

When asked about the lawsuit against Patmore, Kixeye CEO Will Harbin said, in part, "“Zynga is burning to the ground and bleeding top talent and instead of trying to fix the problems — better work environment and better products — they are resorting to the only profit center that has ever really worked for them: their legal department. It is simply another case of Zynga vindictively persecuting a former employee as an individual. Given their financial situation it all feels pretty desperate."

Just a reminder that sometimes when an employee leaves, it actually is personal.

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