“The Twitter diaspora has been very sad for the company,” said Mike Ng, who left his post as tech company Twitter’s director of mobile sales and operations in March after a little more than a year and a half. He’s now CEO and president of Manage, a mobile demand-side platform (DSP) that happens to be a big buyer on MoPub, Twitter’s mobile exchange.
In January, a number of top Twitter executives also flew the coop, including Kevin Weil, the former SVP of product who moved into a product chief role at Instagram (FB). But there’s also been movement at all levels of the organization. A Financial Times analysis of LinkedIn profiles found that more than 450 employees had left Twitter between July 2014 and July 2015, including execs that came on board from the MoPub acquisition.
Twitter’s recent struggles have been well-documented, which could account for some of the attrition. But it’s also true that Twitter isn’t a baby chick anymore: It’s a 10-year-old company, and according to research from the Society for Human Resource Management, the average tenure at a tech company is roughly three years. Rather than fleeing the scene, many, like Ng, are just looking for the next interesting opportunity. Ng, an ad tech vet, has a number of strategic leadership roles under his belt, including GM of mobile ad solutions at Criteo and VP of business development at BlueKai.
Ng wants to expand the DSP’s capabilities to help marketers take better advantage of the advertising APIs offered by social platforms, including Twitter, Pinterest and, eventually, Snapchat. These platforms are “very different beasts” and need to be treated as such, he said.
“I don’t think the marketing partners Twitter brings on really understand the Twitter platform – they’re just bolting what they do for Facebook onto the Twitter platform, but from a product perspective, Twitter and Facebook are very different.”
Ng is hoping to position Manage as a marketing solution to fill that niche, and that’s where the extensive network of ex-Twitter employees comes in handy. He’s calling on his connections.“It’s a side benefit,” Ng said. “We all know people at Pinterest, at Snapchat and elsewhere. It doesn’t necessarily give us a leg up, but it does help us start having conversations with them.”
Founded in 2011, Manage has more than 36 employees spread across its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters and a satellite office in the UK. Clients include Machine Zone, Supercell, Verizon, Subway, Uber, Lyft, Volvo and Electronic Arts. The company is completely bootstrapped and claims to be profitable.