Twitter Boss resigns of head of UK arm

Twitter Boss resigns of head of UK arm

The American boss of Twitter has resigned as director of its UK arm, two days after the business regulator struck off its other British firm for failure to file accounts.

Twitter Inc chief executive Dick Costolo quit as director of Twitter UK Ltd on May 9 with his position replaced by a Dublin-based accountant, Sky News has learnt.

Mr Costolo's decision to resign follows British regulatory accounting issues for both Twitter UK and its now-defunct complementary company TweetDeck Ltd.

Cardiff-based Companies House dissolved TweetDeck Ltd on May 7 for repeated failures to file its 2011 accounts.

When approached by Sky News, Twitter declined to comment on the resignation of Mr Costolo.

Twitter UK and TweetDeck were fined last December for failing to meet the September deadline for their 2011 accounts.

Although Twitter UK subsequently filed its audited accounts after Christmas, revealing a 2011 profit of £16,500, TweetDeck did not file.

This led to TweetDeck being 'gazetted' in January, finally leading to a forced dissolution last week, without it holding any outstanding liabilities. TweetDeck functionality is now incorporated within Twitter.

The directors of TweetDeck were Mr Costolo and Alex Macgillivray, the social media giant's general counsel and head of trust and policy.

Mr Costolo and Mr Macgillivray  were also Twitter UK directors, along with Twitter Inc's chief operating officer, Ali Rowghani.

Following Mr Costolo's resignation Mr Macgillivray and Mr Rowghani remain as directors, and are now joined by Irish chartered accountant Laurence O'Brien.

The Californian microblogging giant controls its UK firm through an Irish subsidiary known as Twitter International Company Ltd.

Mr O'Brien joined Twitter in 2011 and is the Dublin controller, where its European operations are based.

Mr O'Brien, who holds an MBA and was finance manager at Novell Ireland,  previously spent five years at 'Big Four' accountancy firm KPMG.

Late last year Twitter started a staff expansion programme in its London and Dublin offices to build a multinational sales team for Europe.

Plans included increasing advertising revenue by keyword niche targeting of its estimated 200 million regular users, and a system to automatically translate feeds into more than 28 languages.

Forbes magazine reported that Twitter may seek a public flotation in 2014, saying it could be worth more than \$11bn (£6.8bn) to investors if it successfully monetises social media without disenfranchising users.

Part of its 2013 UK growth strategy involved creating a "media partnerships" team in London specifically tasked with cultivating wide use of Twitter by celebrities such as "athletes, actors, comedians, musicians etc".