On the back of news that Twitter is trimming nine percent of its staff with layoffs, the microblogging company is also losing the head of its business in India.
Rishi Jaitly, who leads Twitter in India and is a VP of its Asia Pacific/Middle East business, revealed today that he will leave the company at the end of November following four years of service — as Mashable first reported. Jaitly joined Twitter from the Knight Foundation, but he is best known in tech circles for a two-year stint with Google, where he ran public-private partnerships, public policy advocacy and government affairs in India and the South Asia region.
Jaitly didn’t reveal his next move, other than to say that “a personal/civic calling” will see him relocate to Chicago. He added that he plans to “spend significant time in India/Asia”.
The popularity of Facebook (over 125 million monthly active users) and WhatsApp (estimated 70 million MAUs) in India have shown that social media platforms can thrive in the country, but Twitter hasn’t reached anything like that kind of audience. Despite India boasting the world’s second largest internet population — more than 400 million, behind only China — the microblogging service is thought to account for under 20 percent of the country’s social network users.
Jaitly’s impending departure comes as downsizing moves impact Twitter’s operations in Asia.
Around 20 staff from its Bangalore office were let go in September, while cost-cutting measures in October have seen a number of roles “transitioned” from Twitter’s Hong Kong office to its regional headquarters in Singapore. That Hong Kong base was opened 18 months ago to help Twitter reach advertisers in China that seek a global audience, but now Twitter’s China MD, Kathy Chen, will be its sole occupant, Tech In Asia reported. In another personnel shift in Asia Pacific, Twitter’s head of Australia, Karen Stocks, left her role at the company last month.
In addition to staffing changes, Twitter also shuttered Vine, its short video service, last week.