It’s not an unexpected move: AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher reported back in early May that McCue’s departure was imminent. At that time, she wrote:
“The reason, sources said, is McCue’s growing feeling that the companies are on a product collision course, with a possible troubled or perhaps more attractive result.
In other words, Flipboard will either face increasing rivalry from Twitter or will end up as a possible acquisition target for it or other companies.”
This morning, AllThingsD’s Mike Isaac confirmed McCue’s departure with sources, and McCue’s tweet followed a few hours later.
McCue, who has been on Twitter’s board since late 2010, announced his departure via a Tweet, naturally:
And Twitter CEO Dick Costolo responded with a short message of his own:
McCue is not the first industry exec to step away from his involvement with Twitter in recent weeks. StockTwits CEO Howard Lindzon sold off all his shares in the micro-blogging giant one week ago. Days later, Twitter announced the launch of “cashtags,” or the ability to track stock tickers when they’re preceded by the U.S. dollar symbol — which is something that was pioneered by StockTwits years ago. In a blog post, Lindzon publicly called out the launch as a “hijacking” of StockTwits’ feature.
Twitter has been aggressive elsewhere in claiming territory recently: Last week, the company shut off part of its API access to Instagram, blocking the ability for Instagram users to “find their friends” through the service, for example.
As Mike Isaac reported in-depth today, McCue’s abrupt, and publicly unexplained, departure from Twitter’s board could be a signal that as the CEO of a smaller company that relies on Twitter’s API, he is uncomfortable with these kinds of moves. Or he could simply be too busy with Flipboard to continue carrying out his boardroom duties. For now, the details are being kept behind closed doors.
We’ll be updating this story as more information comes in.