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More pre-Musk Twitter 1.0 execs leave the building

Last one out turn off the lights

A pair of leadership departures at Twitter this week have left the company with few, if any, remaining executives that predate Elon Musk's acquisition of the platform.

Behnam Rezaei, former head of product and engineering, announced his departure in a tweet yesterday, while senior director of HR Katie Marcotte reportedly departed earlier this week, leaving the company two "Twitter 1.0" executives short, and with little remaining institutional C-suite memory that predates Musk.

Twitter 1.0 has been bandied about as a way to describe Twitter in its pre-Musk days and as a response to his "Twitter 2.0" declaration that it would be an "extremely hardcore" version of the company where only those willing to work "long hours at high intensity" would survive, according to Musk. 

Rezaei didn't indicate whether he had quit or been fired, and The Register wasn't able to independently verify Marcotte's departure, though we have asked her for confirmation.

Musk's acquisition of Twitter precipitated mass chaotic layoffs at the company, with the world's formerly richest man claiming he has slashed headcounts to around 2,000 from over 7,500 prior to his tenure, Business Insider said.

Is there anyone left to keep the lights on?

Rezaei was at Twitter for five and a half years, starting as senior director of engineering before moving into his product engineering lead position in November, shortly after Musk took control. 

Marcotte, whose LinkedIn profile still indicates she works at Twitter, started at the company in 2013 as its recruiting lead after her previous employer, Crashlytics, was acquired by the social media platform. She was the HR director beginning 2020, and senior director from April 2022.

Along with those latest departures, Twitter has lost or fired a lot of leaders since Musk took over in late October, from former CEO Parag Agrawal, whom Musk fired on his first day as chief, to CFO Ned Segal, legal chief Vijaya Gadde, chief customer officer Sarah Personette, global head of advertising sales Robin Wheeler, and a bunch more from both engineering and business leadership teams.

It may come as no surprise to some, then, that Twitter has been sued over its failure to pay rent at one of its San Francisco offices (where The Register also rents space), with its landlord alleging the company owes $136,260. 

One potential source of cash for Twitter could be political ads, which the company banned in 2019 but recently said it would be phasing back in, the company's Twitter Safety account tweeted this week.

Twitter is relaxing its policy for cause-based ads, which push people to take action on political or social issues. "We also plan to expand the political advertising we permit in the coming weeks," Twitter said.

Twitter is operating at a massive monetary shortfall, at least according to its owner. Musk claimed last year that Twitter was losing $4 million a day, and a sharp rise in objectionable content on the platform after his takeover did little to calm advertisers. A number of high-profile brands fled the platform rather than open themselves to brand impersonation or hate speech, and it's unclear how efforts to win them back have been going.

Not great, given the unpaid rent, evictions, and server shutdowns that have reportedly been the norm at Twitter as of late.

Twitter is also reportedly facing eviction at its Seattle office due to unpaid rent, and has allegedly stopped paying its bill for the company's headquarters as well, all in a bid to save money and make Twitter profitable – Musk's stated goal and one that might not be possible given current circumstances. ®

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