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Twitter lays off payments leader Esther Crawford

Ryan Lawler
Feb 27, 2023
Illustration of the Twitter logo cutout from the jobs page in a newspaper.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Twitter’s efforts to expand its fintech offerings took a hit over the weekend as a new round of layoffs included the dismissal of a key product and payments exec.

Why it matters: Twitter’s “super app” ambitions rely on senior leaders' ability to implement a robust payments strategy.

Driving the news: As first reported by Platformer's Zoë Schiffer, Twitter director of product management Esther Crawford was let go in the latest round of cuts at Elon Musk’s social network.

  • Among other roles, Crawford was in charge of the Twitter Blue subscription service and had been named chief executive of Twitter Payments.

Context: Musk has said he wants to turn Twitter into an “everything app,” which could include peer-to-peer payments, debit cards and even bank accounts.

  • According to an early pitch deck selling the deal, Twitter hoped to expand its payments business from an estimated $15 million in 2022 to $1.3 billion by 2028.
  • To get there, the firm registered with the U.S. Treasury’s FinCEN unit as a payments processor last November, according to a regulatory filing.
  • It reportedly had also begun applying for state licenses it would need to launch more robust payments services.

What we’re watching: Whoever takes over Twitter’s payments strategy — assuming someone does — will have a huge task ahead of them, particularly given a mismatch between the company’s payment ambitions and dwindling workforce.

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