Twitter users dislike Twitter exec exodus

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Twitter users mostly disliked the largest executive exodus at the online social media company announced late on Sunday, with some notable tweets criticizing CEO Jack Dorsey and even speculating on potential acquirers.

The Thomson Reuters social media sentiment analysis index was negative overall on Twitter, falling close to its lowest levels in the past year following Dorsey’s tweet announcing the voluntary departures.

“Only 5 of the 13 @Twitter execs that presented at their Nov 2014 analyst day are left,” read a post from Rich Greenfield (@RichBTIG), a media and technology analyst at BTIG, which was retweeted more than 500 times.

Many tweets took jabs at Twitter Inc TWTR.N co-founder Dorsey, who returned as permanent CEO in October but still runs his other startup, online payment firm Square Inc SQ.N.

“As we said about 1000 times on TV, print and radio. Jack Dorsey can’t run one let alone two companies. He is a destroyer of value,” tweeted Ross Gerber (@GerberKawasaki), chief executive of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, on Monday.

The Thomson Reuters index tracks and aggregates positive, neutral and negative tweets on a company to generate a sentiment score. The index shows that sentiment toward Twitter has mostly been negative for the past two weeks.

CEO Dorsey said late on Sunday that media head Katie Jacobs Stanton, product head Kevin Weil, head of engineering Alex Roetter and human resources head Brian “Skip” Schipper, had all chosen to leave the company, without specifying exactly why.

According to social media analytics firm Zoomph, tweets about Twitter’s stock spiked following Dorsey’s tweet Sunday night and began trending on Monday morning.

Twitter shares fell 3 percent on Monday and are now down nearly 50 percent since Dorsey’s return on concerns he cannot revive stalled growth.

The departures and share price decline prompted some to suggest the possibility of an acquisition. “With @twitter stock at an all time low, I wonder if it’s time for @IBM or @oracle to buy them?” tweeted Alan Lepofsky (@alanlepo) on Monday.

A Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment.

Not all tweets were critical.

“@jack Hard time it might be for @twitter, but as head of a company, the respect you pay people when they leave speaks volumes. #respect,” tweeted Samson (@yeesamson), head of product innovation at Synergy Marketing.

Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Bill Rigby