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Twitter’s earnings call will be a role reversal for ex-Goldman star Noto

July 29, 2014
July 29, 2014

It’s showtime for Anthony Noto.

The former Goldman Sachs star banker, who left the powerhouse investment bank to join the technology-focused hedge fund Coatue but ended up Twitter’s chief financial officer, is about to get his debut under the white-hot klieg lights of public company-dom.  That’s because Twitter is expected to report its quarterly results after the the market’s close of trading today. Earnings calls are typically hosted by the company’s chief financial officer, who field a fusillade of financial questions from technology analysts.

Noto, a former internet, entertainment, and cable stock analyst turned rainmaking banker, knows the drill. He’s been on the other end of dozens of such earnings calls, peppering tech executives with questions about company financial performance. But this time he will likely be the one parrying queries (replacing former CFO Mike Gupta, who is now in charge of “strategic investments”). Sure, Noto has been a chief financial officer at the the National Football League. But quarterbacking the earnings call for a high-profile tech company is a different beast entirely.

Noto’s moment in the spotlight comes at arguably the most pivotal time for Twitter, which is struggling to demonstrate to investors and industry watchers that it can go toe-to-toe with its starkest rival, Facebook, and grow monthly active users while monetizing those users.

Noto might face similar questions to those he posed to then-chief financial officer of China-based Baidu, Shawn Wang, during a 2006 quarterly earnings call. Here’s the transcript to get a taste of his probing style (registration required).

No matter how skilled Noto turns out to be in answering questions from his former brethren, words only go so far. When all is said and done, if Twitter’s numbers disappoint, it would he hard to blame Noto. After all, he has been in the Twitter executive suite for less than a month.

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