Jessica Verrilli is headed back to Twitter as the company’s senior director of corp dev & strategy after a short stint at Google Ventures.
Verrilli, who was at Twitter for six years, moved to Google Ventures in May to be an investment partner there. Her return comes only a few weeks after cofounder Jack Dorsey was named permanent CEO of Twitter. Dorsey’s other company, payments startup Square, is headed for an IPO, so a strong executive bench at both companies is important as Dorsey splits his time between the two.
Twitter, of course, is under fire from Wall Street to grow faster, and Dorsey has already made some layoffs. However, he said in the company’s earnings call earlier this week that the company is still actively looking for talent.
Verrilli was a key member during the company’s early years, taking on additional responsibilities as the company grew. She was part of its M&A team when it purchased Periscope, the video-live streaming company, for an estimated $100 million. She also played a significant role in the acquisition of Vine, the six-second video app. Both services are popular among the coveted millennial demographic.
Acquisitions have been a big part of Twitter’s strategy, and Verrilli’s return suggest they’ll continue to be. It has made plays in a variety of areas, including ad-tech, third-party apps like TweetDeck, social TV analytics, and big data. These acquisitions were aimed at bolstering existing services, making the platform more attractive to developers, or helping it expand into new areas like video.
Twitter’s strategy has often sought to purchase companies early in their development, sometimes even pre-launch. For example, both Vine and Periscope were acquired before their services became publicly available.