Exclusive: Two key tech execs quit Truth Social after troubled app launch

April 4 (Reuters) - The two southern tech entrepreneurs needed two qualities for Donald Trump's Truth Social startup: a combination of tech-industry skills and a politically conservative worldview, combined with the former president, a rare combination in the Sun-centric liberal-leaning industry. Francisco.(Trump’s Truth Social Sees 2 Key Execs Quit After App’s Rocky Start)

Josh Adams and Billy Boozer - the company's head of technology and product development - joined the initiative last year and quickly became central players in building a social-media empire backed by Trump's powerful brand, which many ridicule as "conservative." Cancel Culture ”Censorship from left.

Less than a year later, at a crucial juncture for the company's smartphone-app release plan, both resigned from their senior positions, according to two sources familiar with the initiative.(Exclusive: Two Key Tech Execs Quit Trump's Truth Social After Troubled App Launch)

Exit after the problematic launch of the company's iPhone app on February 20th. A few weeks later, many users are on the waiting list unable to access the platform. Devin Nunes, chief executive of the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), a former Republican congressman, has publicly stated that the company aims to have the app fully operational in the United States by the end of March.

The company has an app for the iPhone but no app for the Android phone, which accounts for more than 40% of the US market, although the company has advertised looking for an engineer to create one.

Buzzer declined to comment, and Adams did not respond to a request for comment. TMTG and Trump representatives did not respond to requests for comment.(Executives At Trump’s Truth Social Reportedly Quit As Company’s SPAC Stock Drops)

This account is based on an interview with Reuters by eight people with knowledge of Truth Social's activities, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.

Truth Social is part of a growing sector of tech firms that work for conservatives and market themselves as free-speech champions. The platform promised Trump uninterrupted communication with the American public more than a year after Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were shut down for allegedly inciting or glorifying violence during the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riots.(Exclusive-Two key tech execs quit Truth Social after troubled app launch)

The departure of two critical executives in the app-launch effort could hamper the company's progress as it seeks to prove that it can compete with mainstream platforms such as Twitter, two people familiar with the company said. Like Twitter, Trump's platform allows users to connect and share their thoughts.

"If Josh leaves ... all bets are off," one of the sources said of tech chief Adams, calling him the "brain" behind Truth Social's technology.(Two key executives have left Truth Social, according to Reuters)

Another source familiar with the initiative said Buzzer had a key leadership role as product chief, managing across the technology infrastructure, design and development team.

Reuters could not determine the exact circumstances behind the resignations of the executives, or whether they have been replaced or re-appointed. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.(It is the latest bad news for Donald Trump's troubled social media platform)

His resignation came before his key role in the company, which was closely watched outside the secret culture of Truth Social, was made public.

Adams and Buzzer worked at a level just below Weiss Moss and Andy Litinsky, both former co-hosts "The Apprentice", Trump's hit reality TV show, according to a source familiar with the initiative.

Moss and Litinsky have been in "senior, day-to-day leadership" since starting last summer, the source said. In January 2021, the two men introduced Trump on a social-media initiative, according to a person familiar with the company's founder.(EXCLUSIVE Two key tech execs quit Truth Social after troubled app launch)

Reuters could not determine the specific title or responsibilities of Moss and Litinsky, neither of whom responded to a request for comment. TMTG has released little information about its executive leadership team outside of CEO Nunes, who joined in December.

Another open question is how TMTG is financing its current growth. The company plans to reach out to the public by merging with blank-check firm Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC). The deal is being scrutinized by the Securities and Exchange Commission and is a few months away from being finalized.(Two key tech execs quit Trump's tech startup after troubled app launch)

The DWAC revealed in a regulatory filing last December that the SEC was investigating the deal. The SEC did not address the nature of the investigation and did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

Investors have pledged দেওয়ার 1 billion to TMTG but will not transfer that money until the DWAC deal closes.

DWAC shares fell 13% after the market opened on Monday, while Twitter (TWTR.N) shares rose 25% after investing in Elson Musk, chief executive of Telesa.

The level of Trump's involvement with his named company and the Truth social platform also remains unclear. The former president has so far written only one post - or "true" - on the platform, February 14: "Get ready! See your favorite president soon!"

Censor Tower, an analytics firm, estimates that downloads of the Truth Social app have dropped sharply, from 866,000 installments in the week of launch to 60,000 in the week of March 14. The firm estimates that the Truth Social app has been downloaded 1.2 million times in total, lagging behind rival conservative App Parlor and Gate by 11.3 million and 6.8 million installations, respectively.(Less than a year later, both have resigned their senior posts at a critical juncture for the company's smartphone-app release plans, said two sources familiar with the venture.)

Big tech targeting

When they joined the company last year, Adams and Buzzer took a vision for a social-media company with an "anti-cancellation culture" mission, according to a source familiar with the initiative. Executives deeply believed in creating an "open platform, where unless you say something criminal," the person said, "you can have your say."

Reuters could not determine the exact date the two executives joined the firm, but they were working on the Truth social app, according to two sources familiar with the initiative.

Since the company was looking for engineers with both the necessary skills and consistent politics, Adams and Buzzer fit the bill, said another familiar with the company. To measure whether potential employers are suitable, recruiting managers have explored candidates' political ideologies, scanning their social media profiles in at least one case and listening to their presence on podcasts, the person said.

The company's political turn limited its recruitment pool. At least one candidate has denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating "Similar, baseless allegations concerning Russia's intelligence have been made more than once. Others who rejected the company's outreach said they were concerned about job security and

Creadit: Helen Coaster and Julia Love Reporting; Additional reporting by Crystal Hu and Echo Wang in New York; Edited by Kenneth Lee and Brian Thevent.

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