Twitter hires Natalie Kerris as its Head of Communications

Kerris had previously spent 14 years at Apple, working to help reshape that company's image

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
February 22, 2016
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/437e

Twitter has been struggling lately, and that seems to have made it hard for the company to hold onto top talent. It has seen many executives leave in the last few months. 

So it's nice to see Twitter bringing new people on, and filling roles that have remained vacant for quite a while, and one that could mean a turnaround for the company.

CEO Jack Dorsey announced on Twitter on Monday that the company has hired Natalie Kerris as its new VP of Global Communications.

Kerris is taking over a position that had been vacated by Gabriel Stricker, who had been vice president of marketing and communications, and was put in charge of overseeing the entire media team at Twitter when COO Ali Rowghani left in 2014.

Stricker left the company in June of last year.

Prior to this role, Kerris had spent the last 14 years as Senior Director of Worldwide Corporate Communications at Apple, until she left in April of last year, in what was labeled as her retirement. Either that was inaccurate, or Kerris was wooed back out of retirement by the prospect of turning around Twitter's image, much the same way she did with Apple.

Kerris "worked directly with Apple's visionary executive team, including Steve Jobs, Tim Cook and Jony Ive, to reshape Apple's narrative from tech underdog to industry disrupter, through the meteoric rise of the iPhone to become the world's most valuable and profitable company," she writes on her LinkedIn profile

If any company can be labeled an underdog right now, it would be Twitter. The company has been hit hard by stagnating user numbers and a falling stock price. Jack Dorsey has been trying to turn it around through a number of initiatives. 

That has included an update to its timeline, which gave users an opt-in way to change their timeline to display those that they are "most likely to care about," rather than just the most recent.

The company has also toyed with the idea of getting rid of the 140-character limit, perhaps all the way up to 10,000 characters, which is more than 70 times what it is currently.

Those are the bigger moves, but there are also smaller ones it has made that the company believes will make Twitter function better.

That has included getting rid of "weird rules," like the .@name syntax and @reply, which new users would not know or understand. It also introduced Moments, a feature that is designed to curate content by aggregating Tweets and photos from live events and breaking-news situations. 

So far, none of this has helped Twitter much in the user growth department. Perhaps Kerris can work her magic and give the company a new narrative.

Her hiring, funny enough, might be the first step, since it turns around some of the bad press that Twitter got last month when a bunch of its executives quit en mass

Katie Jacobs Stanton, the company’s VP of global media; Kevin Weil, it's SVP of product; Alex Roetter, who is and SVP of engineering; Jason Toff, general manager at Vine; and Brian “Skip” Schipper, Twitter's Vice President of Human Resources, all chose to leave Twitter at the exact same time. 

Those departures followed Mike Davidson, Twitter's Head of Design, announced he was leaving the company in December. In the two weeks prior Twitter had also lost engineer Utkarsh Srivastava, who helped the company build its ads business, and it also saw the departure of Glenn Otis Brown, who has been heading up Twitter’s video ad program. Srivastava left for Google, while Brown went to Betaworks.

Twitter could use a new narrative right now, and Kerris has the experience to give it to them.

VatorNews reached out to Twitter for comment on Kerris' new role, but a company spokesperson had nothing to add beyond Kerris and Dorsey's Tweets. 

(Image source: mactrast.com)

Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Description: What is Twitter? Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweet...

Related news