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Twitter Video Ad Exec Glenn Brown Leaves for Betaworks

Brown is most closely associated with Amplify, Twitter's first video program.

Anthony Quintano for Re/code
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

One of Twitter’s key advertising executives is leaving the company, a day after the company announced a major new ad push.

Glenn Otis Brown, who has been heading up Twitter’s video ad program, is resigning. Brown is heading to Betaworks, the New York-based “startup studio,” where he will be an entrepreneur in residence. A Twitter representative confirmed Brown’s departure to Re/code.

Brown’s departure comes four days after Jack Dorsey took the reins as Twitter CEO, and a day after Twitter announced a big change in its video strategy, which is designed to make it more YouTube-like for both viewers and advertisers. So the timing will raise eyebrows in the ad business.

But sources say Brown gave his notice at least two weeks ago. Brown joined Twitter in 2011.

Brown is most closely associated with Amplify, Twitter’s first video program. That strategy, which the company is continuing to use, saw it partner with big video makers like the NFL, with a plan that was designed to get advertisers to buy “promoted tweets” that would contain video clips.

The plan that Twitter laid out yesterday is more straightforward: Video makers upload their clips to Twitter, which attaches pre-roll ads in front of them.

Brown also helped Twitter build and extend its relationship with the NFL. In August, the two companies announced that the NFL had extended a deal with Twitter that would bring more highlights and other content to the platform. Twitter says Mike Park, who has worked with Brown on Amplify, will take over for him now.

Update: Brown has published a blog post (on Medium, of course) discussing his move. Excerpt: “I’ve been a longtime follower of John Borthwick and his portfolio companies and investments — from Chartbeat to Giphy to Digg to Airbnb to SocialFlow to Twitter itself, among many others. I am excited to jump in with the top-notch team at betaworks, especially fellow Berkman Center and Google alum Andrew McLaughlin.”

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