Mike Isaac

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After Four Years, Twitter Platform Director Ryan Sarver to Depart

RyanSarverRyan Sarver, Twitter’s director of platform who worked closely with the company’s partner ecosystem over the past four years, announced on Friday that he plans to leave the company.

“After four incredible, indelible years at Twitter the time has come for me to fly the coop. My last day will be June 28,” Sarver said in a tweet.

Before joining Twitter in 2009, Sarver worked on consumer products at Skyhook Wireless for three years, and founded real estate startup Bluetrim in 2005.

Over the years, Sarver’s role has been to work with Twitter’s surrounding ecosystem, composed of thousands of developers, communicating with them on a regular basis about what is cool — and more importantly what isn’t cool — to do with Twitter’s data.

But Sarver joined the company in 2009 under a very different regime, when Twitter co-founder Evan Williams was still CEO of the company. Williams was known for his “let a thousand flowers bloom” stance on the Twitter ecosystem, essentially encouraging developers to use the Twitter API for all sorts of applications and businesses.

Under current CEO Dick Costolo, that’s certainly not the case. Halfway through his tenure, Sarver was essentially charged with shepherding developers into a shifting world where Twitter client applications were pooh-poohed and analytics and big data plays — not to mention Twitter’s ambitious Cards project — were more directly emphasized. As a result, Sarver took the brunt of the heat from the very upset developer community at large for the better part of two years.

For what it’s worth, I’ve heard that Sarver has been ready to go for a little while now. Couple that with the fact that Sarver’s shares are fully vested after his four years at the company, and it makes sense that he’s taking off.

No immediate plans for afterward, he said, but I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on him, as Sarver has managed to build up his profile rather well during his time at Twitter. (That, and he’s a nice, well-liked guy in the tech community.)

It’s probably worth noting, too, that Twitter is now looking to hire his replacement — as Sarver pointed out in his series of goodbye tweets — who will likely report to Jana Messerschmidt, VP of biz dev and platform.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik