Twitter’s Product Leader Steps Down

Vines off with video resignation

Twitter’s vp of product development is leaving the company and some are speculating that a little conflict among the ranks contributed to the departure.

Michael Sippey posted an exit note on his personal blog today, saying he was stepping down as head of the product team at the social media upstart.

“Over the past few weeks I’ve talked with Dick [Costolo] and Ali [Rowghani] about what I want next in my career, and what Twitter needs at this stage of its life. And I’ve decided that it’s time for me to move on,” Sippey blogged. He also posted a fitting Vine video that appears to show him literally walking away.

Recode was first to report Sippey’s departure, and said he may have been frustrated with the pace of product innovation. Also, his bosses, including Costolo, may have blamed Sippey for user growth concerns.

According to Recode, Sippey had been marginalized for months.

Twitter had a successful public stock offering last year. However, the need to drive ad revenue was said to interfere with Sippey’s product goals.

Also, despite the warm embrace of Wall Street one area of concern at Twitter has been its scale—the platform has about 220 million users vs. Facebook's 1.2 billion. There have been questions about Twitter’s usability and whether newcomers feel welcome on the network, which could be a confusing experience.

“Starting today I’m transitioning to an advisory role. I’ll be helping with product strategy, providing input on the great work the team has lined up for 2014, and helping Ali find a new head of product,” Sippey said on his blog. “After that, I’m excited to go figure out what’s next. I hear this Internet thing has legs.”