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Twitter Shakes Up Corporate Development Department

Can a new head of corporate development kick Twitter's M&A strategy into high gear?

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In Silicon Valley these days, it’s tough keeping up with the Joneses. Top talent and tech often tends to get snagged by Facebook, Google or hot startups like Uber and Dropbox.

Twitter wants in on at least some of the action.

In an attempt to kickstart its corporate development team, Twitter announced on Monday it had named Rishi Garg as its vice president of corp dev and strategy, a new position for the team. Previous to this, Garg spent the past two and a half years over at Square, where he headed the micropayment company’s biz dev team.

That definitely makes for a shake-up of Twitter’s current corporate development team. Almost exactly one year ago, Twitter named ex-Morgan Stanley M&A leader Cynthia Gaylor as its head of corporate development. Now, Gaylor will report to Garg, along with longtime Twitter corp dev employee Jessica Verrilli.

I’ve heard from sources familiar with the company’s internal workings that Twitter has tried to rejigger that team for quite some time. While it doesn’t have nearly the amount of spending money as companies like Facebook or Apple for acquisitions, Twitter still wants to be able to play in the intensely competitive arena that is Valley M&A dealmaking. (Facebook, for instance, meets with most interesting startups that pop up on its radar, whether the company wants to buy them or not.)

Perhaps a new head of M&A with some experience at tech startups under his belt will help give Twitter the boost that it needs. Though with its stock hitting all-time lows and early public enthusiasm for the company waning, it may take more than just a new head of corp dev to seal more deals.

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