Twitter Hires Senior Google Ad Exec Richard Alfonsi; Long-Time Product Leader Elad Gil To Advisory Role [Updated]

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Twitter is still busy making changes to its senior management. Following up on product leader Satya Patel’s departure earlier this week, we’ve learned of two other significant moves. The first supports the company’s recent statements about its ad business growing faster than many observers had expected.

Richard Alfonsi has been recruited from a senior sales position at Google to be Twitter’s new vice president of global online sales. According to his LinkedIn bio, he was previously responsible for “driving global sales and business strategy across Google’s full Display Ads product set including the Google Display Network, buy-side advertiser platforms, sell-side publisher platforms, and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange.”

His Twitter bio also notes that he focused on small to medium-sized businesses while at Google. One guesses that he’ll be trying to bring on more long-tail advertisers to his new employer, as well.

[Update: AllThingsD has gotten some more details on who the new leaders are. ” Othman Laraki scored a promotion as VP of growth and international product. Twitter also snagged Michael Sippey from SAY Media in January, who now acts as the current consumer product lead. That left the ads products position, essentially the same gig that Patel came on to handle in the first place. Patel was offered the job, and turned it down.” Meanwhile, the company is expanding across its sales team, as Business Insider notes.]

A report earlier this week indicated that Twitter is on track to make $1 billion in ad revenue by 2014. Yesterday, chief executive Dick Costolo told a conference audience that the company is particularly suited for the mobile-first world; more revenue has been coming in from mobile on same days last quarter than from the web, he said.

Meanwhile, long-time business and product leader Elad Gil is stepping back from day-to-day operations. A long-time Google product manager, he’d cofounded geolocation startup Mixer Labs in 2007, which Twitter bought in 2009. From then to now, he’s been a director of search product, director of geo product, and most recently vice president of corporate strategy.

I checked in with Gil after hearing about his move. He tells me this is about him getting back to startup land, having put a combined five years into Mixer and Twitter already.  “I am still spending time at the Twitter offices every week as an advisor to the company and its execs,” he says. “So I feel lucky to have the opportunity to continue to support a company I care deeply about (and is growing super fast) while also being able to try to realize my dreams as an entrepreneur.”

While he’s going to stay involved with Twitter, he adds that he’s going to take some time off before founding a new company.