How Many More Executives Will Leave Twitter? China MD Karen Chen Jumps Ship

Kathy Chen Joins Ever-Growing List of Twitter Executives Jumping Ship
  • Save

Kathy Chen Joins Ever-Growing List of Twitter Executives Jumping Ship
  • Save
Image by Chris Bartle (CC by 2.0)

Adam Messinger. Adam Vine. John McFarland. Add Greater China MD Kathy Chen to the ever-growing (read: hemorraghing) list of Twitter executives leaving the company.

Several months ago, Twitter finally beat analyst estimates. They posted a stronger-than-expected 3Q 2016. However, the news quickly faded as the company reported several bad news: they were laying off 9% of their staff. The company also shut-down (and later re-purposed) the Vine app. The social networking giant also faces a possible ban in Britain. The company has also lost several top executives, including CTO Adam Messinger and COO Adam Bain. Vice President for products Josh McFarland also quit.

Add another tough loss for the company. Multiple news outlets, including TechCrunch and The Country Caller, are reporting that Greater China MD Kathy Chen has resigned. She tweeted,



Due to Chinese government restrictions, Chinese internet users can’t use Twitter. However, most users circumvent government restrictions. So, the company opened an office in Hong Kong back in 2015 to attract Chinese advertisers. The official report stated,

“Chen was brought on board to oversee this effort and to find ways for developers and other businesses in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan to be able to use the platform.”

Twitter caught fire with Chen’s appointment. According to TechCrunch, she previously worked with the Chinese government. Chen reportedly spent seven years researching missile defense at the People’s Liberation Army. She also served as CEO of a joint Ministry of Public Security venture. The venture specialized in security (and potentially) surveillance. At Twitter, she oversaw Twitter’s Chinese ventures.

Kathy Chen posted a series of 12 tweets announcing her departure. In one, Chen stated that under her, the advertiser base grew almost 400%.



In regards to her departure, Chen feels that she succeeded in her mission. She also wrote,

[I need] some time off to recharge, study about different cultures, and then pursue more international business opportunities.

Despite her exit, the Hong Kong office remains open. However, Chen now joins a growing list of executives leaving the company. Most recently, Twitter’s head of India, Rishi Jaitley, suddenly quit the company. Shariq Rizvi and Karen Wickre also jumped ship.

Twitter has yet to issue a formal response. It’s not known how this departure will affect the company’s Chinese as well as Southeast Asian ventures. It’s also not known why so many executives are suddenly leaving the company, or how many more will follow.