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Twitter is hemorrhaging leaders – is this a signal to empty your stock?

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If you want proof of Wall Street’s capricious whims, look no further than Twitter: a few weeks ago the social network’s stock was at the peak of Elon Musk’s takeover bid, but since then , she dropped amid an exodus of executives and speculation that Musk could try to walk away from the deal.

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Three other executives quit Twitter this week, Bloomberg reported, including two vice presidents. This followed the departure last week of two other executives. Those leaving this week include Ilya Brown, vice president of product management; Katrina Lane, vice president of the Twitter service; and Max Schmeiser, head of data science, according to internal memos described to Bloomberg. All three chose to go alone.

That was not the case last week, when a pair of chief executives – Kayvon Beykpour and Bruce Falck – were both fired ahead of Musk’s planned takeover.

The departures came during a period of hiring freezes and job postings being rescinded as Twitter reassesses its labor costs, Fortune reported. In a letter to employees last week, CEO Parag Agrawal said Twitter was not on track to meet the revenue and user growth targets it set in 2021. Those targets included doubling its its revenue and presence of 315 million monetizable daily active users by the end of 2023.

As for the Musk deal: it’s not sure. As previously reported by GOBankingRates, Musk tweeted on May 17 that he “cannot move forward” with his planned $44 billion takeover of the social media company unless he can prove that the bots represent less than 5% of its users. The CEO of Tesla and the richest person in the world has suggested the real figure could be 20% or more. The comments followed similar comments the previous week suggesting the deal was on hold until Musk gets more information about the spam and fake accounts.

Unsurprisingly, these developments did not help Twitter’s share price. The shares were trading near $37 at the start of May 20, well below Musk’s buy price of $54.20 per share reached in late April.

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Meanwhile, analysts aren’t exactly giving the stock a ringing endorsement. The 36 analysts who follow Twitter have an average “Hold” rating on the stock, according to Yahoo Finance. The vast majority rate it as either “Holding” or “Underperforming”. Argus Research recently downgraded the stock from “Hold” to “Buy”.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who has previously held positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work has also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a BA in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting has won awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A North Carolina native who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story “Saint Christopher” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest short story competition. Two of her short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. Her first novel, Voodoo Hideaway, is published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.