Twitter ramps up hiring in Chicago

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Brad Keown

Chicago is an increasingly important member of the Twittersphere.

Twitter, which counts Chicago among its four largest U.S. office sites, is continuing to hire rapidly here after doubling its employee count last year to 30.

“This year will be a solid growth year [in Chicago],” says Brad Keown, director of marketing and sales for the Central region, which is headquartered in the Loop.

He declined to disclose numbers, but said the focus is on engineering and sales and marketing jobs.

Twitter ramped up its retail business before it went public in November, hiring Chicago-based J.J. Hirschle, former head of directed media and entertainment advertising at Google, to be director of retail.

Now Twitter is seeking to fill four key job openings in Chicago, including brand advocacy manager and regional sales operations manager. Keown says Twitter’s LaSalle Street office “is fine” with its existing space and has no plans to relocate.

J.J. Hirschle

Keown said Chicago is key to Twitter’s strategy to grow revenue from advertising because it’s home to big clients like Gatorade, Kraft, Leo Burnett, Quaker Oats, Starcom MediaVest and Wrigley.

Chicago also serves as a base of operations to serve clients throughout the Midwest, such as Sprint and Applebee’s in Kansas; Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati; Nestle Purina and Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis; and Best Buy, Target and General Mills in Minnesota, he says.

“It’s important that we grow as we develop deeper relationships” with retail clients, Keown says.

The growing use of mobile media is key to Twitter’s retail growth, Keown says.

“Marketing dollars follow consumers’ eyeballs,” he says.

The Chicago office is still less than half the size of Twitter in New York and significantly smaller than the San Francisco corporate headquarters.

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