They don’t always get a lot of credit for their work, but it’s not easy to be the one in charge of communications for a large organization (or really any size for that matter). Depending on the complexity, age and structure within a company, developing communications strategies and maintaining consistency of brand and message across a variety of products and departments — while reporting directly to the Big Kahuna — can be anything but an enviable job. And it seems this may be especially true at Twitter.
Twitter’s Director of Communications, Matt Graves, announced via tweet this afternoon that he will be stepping down from his post and taking some time off. Graves has been the company’s comms director for over two years, joining the company from iMeem, where he was formerly VP of Marketing Communications. Prior to iMeem, he spent 6.5 years as PR Director of RealNetworks.
After two+ years working on @twittercomms, it’s time for me to move on…
— Matt Graves (@mgrooves) July 18, 2012
Graves’ departure follows Twitter’s hiring of Gabriel Stricker, who joined the company as VP of Communications from Google, where he worked for 5+ years as the Director of Global Communications & Public Affairs among other roles.
There’s no reason to make a mountain out of a mole hill, but Stricker’s hire followed a seeming air of upheaval in Twitter Comms, as Head of Communications Sean Garrett stepped down in November. Which Alexia learned took place at about the same time that Comms Director Lynn Fox ended her short-lived stint at the company. And now you can add Graves to the list of departed comrades.
For those counting along at home, that means the company has lost three communications directors in a little over six months. It was this kind of news that prompted Alexia to ask not so long ago, so, uh, “What’s going on at Twitter?”
Graves went on to thank the company and a number of its executives as part of his official departure. Graves said he has no concrete plans yet, other than taking some time to enjoy the rest of the summer — and with his experience, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him pop up in a similar role not so far down the road.
There’s no doubt, from all we’ve heard, that leading communications at Twitter is a demanding job and two years in the real world is likely the functional equivalent of 10 in Twitter years. As Graves tweeted today, in Twitter years, he now may be eligible for a gold watch.
It’s obviously not clear yet who will be replacing Graves, if anyone. After Garrett stepped down in November, Karen Wickre, who was hired shortly before Garrett’s departure, filled in as comms director in an interim capacity. Now, however, she’s Twitter’s editorial director. Even if a pipe is just a pipe, and there isn’t anything more below the surface to lend Twitter that extra bit of turn-over (although a few valid concerns have been cited in the past), the company certainly seems to have had their fair share of Directors.
And perhaps unsurprisingly (in related news), Twitter happens to be hiring. Communications, anyone?