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Twitter Eyeing Apple Veteran for Top Communications Job

Natalie Kerris would be a high-profile hire for the social communications company, which needs better PR.

Natalie Kerris

Twitter is close to hiring Natalie Kerris, the longtime and high-profile Apple communications exec, to run its communications unit, a critically important job given the intense media and investor interest on the social communications company.

Kerris is well known in Silicon Valley for her job as one of the top public relations and communications staffers at Apple. She was in the running for the top job at the tech giant, which went to Steve Dowling, after the departure of Katie Cotton.

Kerris was at Apple for 14 years, working on a range of its most famous products. As Re/code wrote when she left in April, that included the launches of such iconic Apple products as the iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air and, most recently, ApplePay and the Apple Watch. “She worked alongside the company’s late chief executive, Steve Jobs, whom she invoked in a tweet announcing her departure,” Re/code reported.

At the time, she indicated that she might be retiring, but not so!

Instead, she has recently spent a lot of time talking to top Twitter execs and is the leading candidate for the job. If hired, Kerris will report to general counsel Vijaya Gadde and not, interestingly, to newly named CMO Leslie Berland. Gadde conducted the search, which has been taking place for months.

She would replace Gabriel Stricker, who left Twitter and is now working back at Google on its fiber effort.

At the time, Twitter was pretty adamant about what kind of exec it was looking for: “It continues to be essential that we show the world the value of Twitter. Communications is a key component of that, and to help build toward a stronger future, we are looking now to shift our communications strategy and direction.”

If it all works out, Kerris and Berland will be working closely together for what is a big job, of course, to turn around the perception that Twitter has not innovated its product enough and that it has too much exec turmoil. Both are most definitely pros, so CEO Jack Dorsey will have made a pair of strong picks to help him do that.

It has been a busy week for Twitter, after Re/code first reported on a series of departures, including media head Katie Jacobs Stanton, product head Kevin Weil and engineering head Alex Roetter. Also departing is top HR exec Skip Schipper, said Dorsey, who noted that they all “chose to leave.”

Kerris did not get back to me tonight and a Twitter spokesman declined to comment.

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