July 20, 2010

Twitter Ramps Up Sales Team, Hiring from Yelp, YouTube

With sponsored trending topics and tweets becoming more accepted and mainstream within the popular microblogging service, it's no surprise Twitter is expanding its sales ranks to drive more business. After years of users and armchair quarterbacks questioning how the popular service could ever make money, the company certainly looks to be graduating from the realm of venture capital bringing in the dollars and more to one targeting true income. A few of this week's newest hires demonstrate growth in the sales department, with titles that point to structure similar to established firms - much like others that have hit the 200+ person plateau as they have.

Twitter's closely-watched Employee List has now grown to 239 people. It's assumed nearly all are employees of the company, with some contract employees. Ten more were added to the company rolls on Monday, including former employees of Ning, Yelp and Google, with total hires in 2010 approaching or just passing 100 on the year.

In past months, the plurality of new hires at the company have seemingly been engineers focused on helping the company expand its offerings or scale with continued growth, intermixed with the occasional UI expert or HR person. While those hires continue (see: Scott Smith, former Sys Admin for Ning @ohlolohlol and Alan Liang, formerly of Yahoo! @mixmasteralan), the more interesting new employees are those focused on revenue, including Amanda Levy (@amandalevy) and Josh Grau (@grauface).

Amanda was most recently director of sales at Yelp, after 4 years at the company, where she started as an account executive. Her LinkedIn profile claims her new title is Director of Sales, West at Twitter. Having a Director of Sales, West indicates similar positions at other regions, as the team builds. Josh was previously the head of business development of branded entertainment at Google's YouTube, and now bills himself as Program Sales & Marketing at Twitter. Not the only YouTuber to join team Twitter of late, Josh is joined by Sara Mustin (@saramustin), previously a partner technology manager at YouTube.

In addition to the publicly expanding sales staff and YouTube alumni, also joining Twitter this week are Terra Craig (@terrabirdy), Dan Coughlin (@DanTCoughlin), Justin Chen (@leftparen), Shane Connor (@shanecon123) and Pat Chan (@patc888). Given the low tweet numbers for some of the new hires, it's likely these are not primary accounts or are work friendly and not their personal streams.