Women In Comms

Twitter Loses Its Head of Diversity & HR

Both the vice president of diversity and inclusion and head of HR are out at Twitter already this year, more bad news for the social network, which has struggled to diversify its employee base -- amongst other struggles.

Sources tell TechCrunch that Twitter Inc. 's VP of Diversity and Inclusion Jeffrey Siminoff is leaving at the end of the month, on his own accord, and the company confirmed that HR lead Renee Atwood has already left.

Like most tech companies in the Valley, Twitter has struggled to diversify away from its largely white and male employee base. It released a diversity report last month, noting that it met its modest targets for 2016 and outlining how it's improving things like parental leave and is building a culture of inclusion. The numbers, however, are still low with its workforce made up of 37% women and 11% underrepresented minorities. In technical roles, it is 15% women and 9% underrepresented minorities. (See A Vast Valley: Tech's Inexcusable Gender Gap, What Facebook's Recruiting Woes Tell Us and Apple Votes Down Diversity Proposal.)

Women in Comms' first networking breakfast and panel of 2017 is coming up on Wednesday, March 22, in Denver, Colorado, ahead of day two of the Cable Next-Gen Strategies conference. Register here to join us for what will be a great morning!

These two executive loses are just the latest in a long string of high-profile exits. Twitter has also long struggled to make money, grow its user base and effectively combat abuse on the social network.

The company said today that it's cracking down on harassment on its site with plans to identify blocked abusers and not let them create new profiles, show only "safe search" results without sensitive material and to collapse irrelevant or abusive replies. Both the search results and replies will still be available to those who seek them out, but Twitter is aiming to make them less visible on the social network. (See Why We Need Diversity Before AI Takes Over.)

The social network has also reportedly been seeking buyout offers, but nothing has come of it so far. (See Twitter Can't Find a Date, Just Wants to Stay Home & Binge-Watch The Bachelor.)

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Director, Women in Comms

brooks7 2/8/2017 | 11:01:18 AM
Re: so obvious Dennis,

You missed "Under 40".  The only non-protected group is white males under 40.


mendyk 2/8/2017 | 10:49:12 AM
so obvious Yes, it's clear that Twitter's biggest problem is an oversupply of white males.
Kelsey Ziser 2/8/2017 | 10:17:20 AM
Re: diversity? hmm the TechCrunch article says "However, Siminoff's recent tweet indicates that it's more likely he left to "pause for future change and loved ones"...sounds like the typical "left to spend more time with family" reason for leaving. I wonder if he was strongly encouraged to leave.

It does seem like for all the value Twitter provides to users, the company has struggled for quite some time to be profitable and show would-be buyers how to best leverage Twitter in their own business plans.
Sarah Thomas 2/7/2017 | 4:43:35 PM
diversity? Twitter got a lot of pushback when Siminoff was appointed in 2015, given that they put an older white male in charge of diversity. Now it appears he's leaving right after Twitter releases its latest diversity report. Did he not move the needle enough?
Sign In