The head of Twitter's Irish operations is jumping ship to be a venture capitalist

Stephen McIntyre will join Frontline Ventures after nearly five years at the social network.

By Peter Bodkin Editor, Fora

THE HEAD OF Twitter’s Irish operations is leaving the US tech company to join local venture capital outfit Frontline Ventures.

Stephen McIntyre will be replaced at Twitter by former RTÉ journalist and Storyful founder Mark Little from the start of next month.

In a blog post this morning, McIntyre said he had made the “very tough decision … after four and a half of the best years of my professional life”.

“I’ve had a tremendous run at Google and Twitter but after a decade at US multinationals I’m ready for something new. And, having run businesses very large and very small, I enjoy the building phase most of all.”

Source: Stephen McIntyre/Twitter

The Twitter vice-president spent eight years at Google in various sales and other managerial roles before making the leap to the microblogging site.

He was one of the social network’s first employees outside the US and was charged with both setting up and then expanding its Irish operations. The Dublin office is now the company’s largest outside the US, last year signing a lease on 85,000 sq ft of space at Cumberland house for its more than 450 staff.

Little said – on Twitter, unsurprisingly – that he was looking forward to “continuing the … journey” for the company.

Source: mark little/Twitter

He has been working for Twitter as vice-president of media partnerships in Europe after selling Storyful to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for €18 million in late 2013.

Dublin- and London-based Frontline Ventures is an early stage investor in a string of local companies, including foreign exchange firm CurrencyFair and smart scale maker Drop.

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Brendan O’Driscoll, the co-founder of Irish music-discovery company Soundwave, which was bought by Spotify earlier this year, will also join the investment outfit as an adviser.

Two sides of a coin

McIntyre said he hoped his “high-growth operating experience” would help Frontline Ventures’ portfolio of 22 companies as they grew.

He also shared a few thoughts on the relationship between multinationals and domestic companies – which he described as “two sides of the same coin”.

“There’s a lot of talk in Europe about the connection  –  or lack thereof –  between multinationals and startups. I’ve been asked about this by journalists many times, often in terms of competition for talent.

“Multinationals and startups both entice talent into tech clusters, such as Dublin or London or Berlin. I’m a case in point. I moved back to Ireland from the US in 2005, having spent almost a decade abroad, to take a job at Google. Had it not been for Dublin’s multinationals, I would today be living in the US rather than joining Europe’s startup community.”