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Twitter Shares Tumble After Exec Exodus

Twitter’s stock price fell as much as 7% Monday, after investors reacted to the disclosure that four top company executives are flying the coop.

Dorsey confirmed the high-level departures Sunday, claiming the four execs had chosen to leave of their own accord. They are: product chief Kevin Weil, head of media Katie Stanton, SVP of engineering Alex Roetter and VP of HR Skip Schipper. In addition, Jason Toff, a product executive at Twitter’s Vine, is exiting to work on virtual-reality projects at Google.

Shares of Twitter opened at $16.79 per share, dropping as low as $16.51 in morning trading, after closing at $17.84 Friday.

Twitter was downgraded on the news by analyst firm Stifel Nicolaus, from “buy” to “hold.” “While we may not be the sharpest tools in the shed, we don’t see how the departure of the heads of three major business divisions can be viewed as a positive,” the analysts wrote in a research note.

With the management shakeup, COO Adam Bain will add oversight of media, revenue-related product development and HR on an interim basis, while CTO Adam Messigner will take over engineering and consumer product, design, research and development tools, according to Dorsey.

Twitter has had a rocky ride on Wall Street since going public in late 2013. Last week, company shares spiked on rumors that New Corp was interested in acquiring or investing in Twitter, before falling again after News Corp dismissed the chatter as untrue.

Twitter founder Dorsey returned as CEO last summer, replacing Dick Costolo, as the social media company tries to demonstrate its ability to expand its user base and develop new revenue streams.

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