Twitter Gets a Hollywood Guy: Omid Ashtari
Twitter has hired its first official liaison to the stars: Creative Artists Agency veteran Omid Ashtari. His first day at the microblogging service was today.
Ashtari told me he is “going to be Twitter’s L.A. person” and will be dealing with media companies and celebrities. His role is not yet fully defined, but he said he sees opportunities for famous people to better use the Twitter platform.
Twitter confirmed the hire tonight, saying in an email that Ashtari’s assignment is “Entertainment Business Development” and that he “will lead efforts to assist the entertainment industry, including actors, musicians, and athletes, to make sure they are getting the most out of their use of Twitter. Omid will be based in Los Angeles, CA, but the scope of the job is global.”
Celebrity usage is a huge part of Twitter, of course, with well-known tweeting stars like Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber employing the platform to give millions of followers a real-time window into their lives.
That has happened mostly organically. Twitter has hosted many visiting celebs and dignitaries at its offices, and participated in tweet integration for events like the MTV Video Music Awards, but it has never dedicated personnel to famous people.
Ashtari left CAA late last year, after serving as an agent and a business development exec for nearly 10 years. At CAA, he negotiated deals for high-profile original Web video projects, such as Joss Whedon’s “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” and “Gemini Division,” starring Rosario Dawson.
After that he caught the digital media bug and sought to get more involved in the tech world. This fall he joined ScreenTribe, a social television company trying to build on its early success with an Apple iPhone TV guide app.
Ashtari joins Twitter’s media and business development team led by Chloe Sladden and Robin Sloan.
You can follow him on Twitter here.