Yoky Matsuoka, a former computer science professor at the University of Washington, announced that she has joined Twitter as its Vice President of Technology and Analytics. She announced the move last night (in a tweet, naturally), confirming a report that first emerged over the weekend.
She joins Twitter from Google, where she served as the company’s head of innovation before leaving to join Nest as its vice president of technology. She then rejoined Google after Nest was acquired last year for $3.2 billion.
It’s still not clear what exactly Twitter has in mind for Matsuoka, or if the company has any direct use for her robotics background. She’s credited with the creation of the modern robotic hand, and focused on the interaction between computers and machines during her time at UW. During her tenure, she directed the Engineering Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, though it’s not clear if that will come in handy in the social networking world.
She’s not the only high-profile exit from Nest. Dropcam co-founder Greg Duffy is also leaving the company, according to a report from The Verge.
Matsuoka joins the company at a tumultuous time in Twitter’s history. Investors have been concerned about the social networking firm’s slowing user growth over the past year. Twitter will present its fourth quarter financial results on Thursday, and may face new rounds of criticism.