SAN FRANCISCO – Twitter named former Goldman Sachs banker Anthony Noto, who led the company's initial public offering last year, as chief financial officer, seeking to rekindle user growth and engagement.
Noto, 46, replaces Mike Gupta, who is assuming the role of senior vice president of strategic investments, the latest top management shuffle at the microblogging service. Noto was head banker on Twitter's IPO in November, and left Goldman Sachs in May to join hedge-fund firm Coatue Management.
The changes come almost three weeks after Ali Rowghani resigned as Twitter's chief operating officer after a power struggle Chief Executive Dick Costolo over responsibilities, according to people familiar with the matter. The San Francisco-based social-media company has experienced decelerating user growth and has struggled to boost people's engagement with the service.
"He definitely understands Wall Street, how investors value the company, what investors are focused on," said Neil Doshi, an analyst at CRT Capital Group in Stamford, Conn., who rates Twitter the equivalent of a hold. "Twitter has done a fantastic job in posting very good financial results, but they missed the mark on how important investors view the user growth at Twitter."
"Hopefully Mr. Noto will be able to help craft a better message for investors, how Twitter plans to grow and build from its current user base," Doshi said.
The stock had declined 36 percent so far this year through Monday amid concern that user growth would continue to decelerate.
"I could not be more excited about joining the Twitter team & helping them reach every person in the world," Noto wrote on his Twitter account shortly after the appointment, which was disclosed in a filing Tuesday.
Noto, a dot-com-era Internet analyst, has served as CFO before, at the National Football League. He was a star football player in college at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, leading the team in tackles in 1990. Noto trained to be a member of the Army Rangers and spent time in the Middle East while serving as a signal officer in the Army's infantry.
Noto, one of the few investment bankers who tweet regularly, rejoined Goldman Sachs from the NFL in 2010 and also helped to secure the IPO for Yelp Inc. He was an analyst at Goldman Sachs from 1999 until 2008.
Noto joins a company known for its rocky internal dynamics. Costolo originally gave Rowghani control over product late last year but decided to remove the responsibility in April, precipitated by the hiring of Google maps executive Daniel Graf as vice president of consumer products, said people familiar with the matter.
This year, Twitter's head of consumer product and head of engineering both resigned amid pressure to expand the company's business. In May, Twitter appointed a new head of engineering, Alexander Roetter, who was already at the company.