Twitter's comms exodus continues

Former corporate and policy comms exec Jim Prosser follows Natalie Kerris out the door.

Twitter's comms exodus continues

After losing its head of comms a few days ago, yet another comms executive is leaving Twitter.

Fintech startup SoFi has hired Jim Prosser, former head of corporate, revenue, and policy communications, as VP of comms and policy.

Prosser announced his departure on Twitter days after the exit of Natalie Kerris, head of comms, who only served for about six months. CMO Leslie Berland has absorbed Kerris’ responsibilities in the meantime.

In February, Twitter brought on former Apple comms veteran Kerris to replace CCO Gabriel Stricker, who left in July 2015 after leadership transitions that saw CEO Dick Costolo step down and founder Jack Dorsey named interim CEO, again. Prior to that, four senior executives, including international comms director Rachel Bremer and VP of global media Katie Stanton, resigned over the span of about a month.

Prosser’s initial announcement was followed by a mini tweetstorm thanking his employers at Twitter for the opportunity and stating why he feels "passionately" about the intersection between finance and technology.

"I have a lot of faith in Leslie because of her experience in communications and marketing," Prosser told PRWeek. "If anyone is well-suited to sell Twitter’s story, it’s going to be her."

Prosser said he was introduced to SoFi through a college classmate, who became one of its early customers and, later, an executive.

"It says a lot about what SoFi does and how it makes people’s lives better," Prosser said. He added he was also an acquaintance of its COO Joanne Bradford, Pinterest’s former head of partnerships.

The ways in which SoFi not only uses technology, but emphasizes and increases connectivity between people drew Prosser to the company, he added.

"The relationship between people and finance is going to change and it needs to," he added. "SoFi offers a completely different approach and changes what being a financial company means. The space is really ripe for change."

Prosser has one person reporting to him on his comms team, with a few agencies supporting their efforts. Based in San Francisco, he will report to Bradford.

SoFi has made a name for itself by delving into the student loan refinance market.

Last month, SoFi sponsored the launch of Mic’s MoneyMic section to spur conversation around people's finances. The financial industry disruptor raised $1 billion in funding this year, bringing total equity investment in SoFi to $1.42 billion.

Investors participating in the fundraising round included: Third Point Ventures and affiliates of Third Point, Wellington Management Company, Institutional Venture Partners, RenRen, Baseline Ventures, and DCM Ventures.

Last week, Berland penned a blog about some research Twitter undertook and the conclusions it came to. There was widespread misperception about what Twitter was for, and respondents believe they had to tweet every day.

"We realized we had some explaining and clarifying to do!" said Berland in the blog. "In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be rolling out marketing including videos and digital ads that center around seeing what’s happening on Twitter."

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