Twitter ready to step up courtship of advertisers
Tony Wang is the kind of man you want to do business with. The general manager of Twitter UK is sharp (he went to Harvard Law School and has worked on the legal team for Google and Twitter), polite (he was ten minutes late for our interview: “I am so sorry I’ve kept you,” he says, genuinely concerned. “I’ve been with a client this morning.”) and a digital media suit you can imagine going to The Ivy with. He also has a sense of humour. When he notices I’m holding a Facebook-branded pen, he gasps: “We’ll have to get better at giving you stuff.”
Wang and his tiny UK commercial team are just up and running. The son of a Taiwanese couple that own a successful Chinese restaurant business in America, Wang came over from Twitter US in May. He had been serving as a legal counsel for Twitter in the US since 2010, but his experience of helping Google expand into Europe in the noughties meant he was an obvious choice for the role of leading the expansion of Twitter over here.
At first, it was just Wang running around trying to get the basics in place: finding a central London office (the exact whereabouts of which is top secret), sorting bank accounts, hiring a team and meeting with media agencies. In the first four weeks, he was responding to agency contacts at 3am due to the imbalance of demand to supply, so a media source tells me, and Wang admits he lost 15 pounds. “The brand became global so much faster than where we were with resources,” he says.