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Anthony Noto may be gone, but Twitter is doing just fine.
Twitter shares have risen more than 63 percent since the departure of its celebrated chief operating officer, amid a mea culpa from management and the promise of new products.
Shares closed up 7 percent on Wednesday, the biggest positive percentage change since September 2016, according to FactSet. Shares have risen nearly 15 percent so far this month, outpacing Facebook and Snap by a wide margin.
It’s a significant jump for a company that had plenty of naysayers just a month and a half ago. On January 24, shares were at $22.37 apiece, and on Wednesday, they closed at $36.60.
Noto announced on January 23 that he would leave Twitter to become CEO of SoFi, an financial tech company. A military veteran with banking and media chops, Noto was considered a top deputy of Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, who has his hands full with his second job as CEO of Square. Twitter shares fell immediately after the announcement of Noto’s departure.
But this week, CNBC reported that Twitter is working on a camera-first feature that could threaten Snap, and Twitter chief financial officer Ned Segal told CNBC that Twitter was creating a subscription product for businesses to advertise.
The changes come just weeks after Dorsey requested help from users “to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress.”
Even for bigger rivals like Facebook, Google (owner of YouTube) and Amazon (owner of Twitch), the past year hasn’t been an easy time to be a social media company. Regulators are scrutinizing the role of Facebook, Twitter and other in Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. And other woes, like harassment, extremist content and fake news, have created rifts between social media companies and advertisers.
After a slew of reports that Twitter might sell itself, the company was particularly vulnerable — some top staffers had shuffled, and critics noted that Segal, for instance, wasn’t exactly an ardent user of the platform.
But if Wall Street has any remaining concerns about Dorsey’s leadership, it’s not showing. Not only are Twitter shares higher, but shares of his other company, Square, have also risen more than 50% this year.