Former Twitter product lead April Underwood is getting one other promotion this morning, now rising to the position of chief product officer of what goals to be the dead-simple worker communications platform Slack, according to Fortune.
Underwood beforehand served as director of product at Twitter, the place she labored for 5 years earlier than becoming a member of Slack as its head of platform. Shortly after that Underwood was promoted to the corporate’s VP of product, and can now function the corporate’s first chief product officer. These sorts of promotions suggest some extra duty — particularly as Slack appears to diversify and pitch itself as a extra sturdy product than only a messenger — but in addition one other level of maturation for Slack. The corporate employed its first chief monetary officer, Allen Shim, in February this year.
Slack is a kind of corporations that faces a tense push-and-pull because it appears to get into bigger and bigger enterprises, which all have area of interest wants. The corporate is a darling in Silicon Valley due to its quite simple interface, however with corporations with 1000’s (or, ultimately, tens of 1000’s of staff) only a software with teams and direct messages may simply turn out to be unwieldy. That’s why Slack has invested in quite a lot of instruments, together with rolling out threaded messaging a little more than a year ago. Slack is probably going a kind of corporations that will get lots of of function requests a yr for bigger companies which have area of interest use circumstances, however it nonetheless has to exhibit that it’s a easy product with out hitting function creep standing.
Underwood getting extra authority over that evolution (of which she was already an enormous half, together with the event of threaded messages) is one other sign that the corporate is seeking to faucet her client background at Twitter to create some type of center floor between feeling like a satisfying client product whereas nonetheless working as an enterprise software. Slack is more and more seeking to apply machine studying to assist staff get to solutions instantly, and it nonetheless has to take the identical type of care in rolling out new options that fulfill the wants of bigger organizations with out sacrificing that simplicity that made it a darling within the first place.
Slack most just lately hit a $5.1 billion valuation in a latest funding spherical, and stated it had round 6 million each day energetic customers in September final yr. That is perhaps small-ish in comparison with the scale and scale of Twitter, however as one thing geared towards inside communications at corporations, that degree of engagement within the office goes to more and more be a promoting level for the corporate because it appears to develop into that valuation.