FORTUNE -- Twitter revved up IPO rumors last week, by announcing that it had hired Morgan Stanley banker Cynthia Gaylor as head of corporate development. But there may be less here than meets the eye.
To be sure, the speculation is understandable. Gaylor worked on numerous tech transactions during her seven years at Morgan Stanley (MS), including the Facebook's (FB) initial public offering last spring. And, on the surface, her hiring does look a bit akin to Google (GOOG) bringing banker Lise Buyer in-house to manage its own going public process one year before it actually listed.
But sources tell Fortune that Twitter actually began recruiting for this position last summer, and that it originally targeted existing corporate development executives rather than bankers. In other words, the micro-messaging company was much more interested in someone to manage M&A than a public listing.
Even Gaylor herself seemed to indicate as much in her inaugural tweet:
So while Gaylor's hiring doesn't mean much for the IPO tea leaves, it should be interesting to see if her arrival helps upsize Twitter's acquisition strategy. She's got experience on large deals -- including Amazon's (AMZN) $880 million purchase of Zappos and Google's $750 million purchase of AdMob -- while Twitter has mostly focused on smaller transactions (or getting outbid on large ones, like Instagram).
A Twitter spokesman declined comment.
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Wall Street's algorithms can read fake tweets faster than you can.
FORTUNE -- As Wall Street predictions go, Jamais Cascio had a good one. A little less than a year ago, Cascio, a distinguished fellow at think tank Institute for the Future, in a blog post, predicted that retweeting Twitter bots combined with a fake news story posted by hackers on a major media website would cause a market crash. That's MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Apr 25, 2013 5:00 AM ET
The SEC showed up late to the social media party with its new guidance, and investors now have more questions than answers about how companies can share material information.
By Cyrus Sanati
FORTUNE -- Wall Street will need a bit more clarity on the SEC's new social media policy before anyone feels comfortable enough to hit the "like" button. While many on the Street accept that social media has become a MOREApr 4, 2013 12:29 PM ET
Twitter shares now selling for $9.9 billion.
FORTUNE -- Twitter isn't done letting early employees sell shares, Fortune has learned. But the stakes have been raised substantially.
Last Friday, the Financial Times reported that BlackRock (BLK) was buying around $80 million of shares at a valuation just north of $9 billion. We later added that the only sellers would be a small group of early employees, which were said to be fewer than MOREDan Primack - Feb 1, 2013 10:26 AM ET
Twitter's age ≠ IPO.
FORTUNE -- A lot of people expect Twitter to go public this year, judging by various lists of 2013 business predictions. Others believe it will happen in 2014, based on CEO Dick Costolo's practiced indifference when asked.
But here's one thing that's certain: Twitter will not pick a listing date based on its own age.
I've heard this theory a lot lately, and it's absurd. Basically an outgrowth from the MOREDan Primack - Jan 9, 2013 12:36 PM ET
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* Get Liquid: Join us this MOREDan Primack - Nov 26, 2012 7:10 AM ET
Focusing on the (very) small stuff.
FORTUNE -- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has 187,000 followers on Twitter, plus nearly 100,000 followers on a new account set up by the Romney campaign. Oh, and he's also a tiny investor in the micro-messaging site.
According to Ryan's most recent financial disclosures, he held between $50,000 and $100,000 in the T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund as of Dec. 31, 2011. It's his largest single MOREDan Primack - Aug 13, 2012 1:17 PM ET
In my Monday email column, I wrote the following while waiting for Facebook to file IPO papers:
Twitter, you're on the clock. Last year at this time, we regularly discussed how the secondary private markets were being boosted by the exit prospects of three companies: LinkedIn, Groupon, Zynga, Facebook and Twitter. The first three are already public. Facebook is filing. That means Twitter is all that's left. Will it be the private MOREDan Primack - Feb 3, 2012 1:29 PM ET
Prince Alwaleed's deal for Twitter isn't a traditional investment.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal today announced that he has invested $300 million in Twitter, via his Kingdom Holding investment group.
Fortune has learned that the deal is structured as a secondary, which means that Alwaleed purchased shares from existing Twitter insiders. The company would have been required to approve of the transaction, but will not actually receive any of the $300 million, as it would in MOREDan Primack - Dec 19, 2011 10:53 AM ET
VC firm nabs man responsible for endangering the Fail Whale.
Mike Abbott is joining venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a senior partner in its digital media group, less than two months after stepping down as vice president of engineering at Twitter.
When Abbott originally left Twitter, he joined Benchmark Capital as an entrepreneur-in-residence. But he quickly bailed when Kleiner came calling.
"It's a better fit because I'll have a MOREDan Primack - Dec 1, 2011 2:00 PM ET
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