June 14, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO — A top Twitter lawyer tendered his resignation on Thursday, the latest in a string of executive departures since Elon Musk took over the company nearly six months ago, four people familiar with the matter said. bit.

In recent months, lawyer Christian Dowell was promoted to head Twitter’s legal department after the company’s legal leaders resigned or were fired by Mr. Musk. Mr. Dowell was closely involved in Twitter’s recent negotiations with the FTC, two people familiar with the discussions said.

The FTC, which currently oversees Twitter, is investigating claims by a former executive that the company has security problems. The committee sped up its investigation after three Twitter executives responsible for privacy, security and compliance abruptly resigned. They left Twitter in November, shortly after Musk bought the company.

The agency has intensified its investigation of Twitter in recent months and is reviewing whether the company has the resources to uphold its privacy commitments following mass layoffs and resignations.

Mr. Dowell did not respond to a request for comment. Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Musk has tried in recent months to meet with some of the FTC’s committees to discuss the investigation, two people familiar with Musk’s efforts said. Only outgoing Republican Commissioner Christina Wilson accepted his request. Dowell coordinated Twitter’s response to the FTC’s inquiries and was involved in scheduling the meetings, these people said.

Ms Wilson stepped down last the wall street journal Opinion piece Regarding her decision to resign, she said FTC Chairman Lina Khan saw “a disregard for the rule of law and due process and the way in which senior FTC officials supported her.”

Mr. Dowell joined Twitter in 2020 after stints at question-and-answer sites Quora and Facebook, and focused on product issues before being promoted in December to become Twitter’s legal head of product.

Mr. Dowell’s departure follows the departure of the social media company’s head of legal and compliance. On the day Mr. Musk finalized his Twitter deal in late October, he fired Vijayagadh, then the company’s chief legal officer, and Sean Edget, its general counsel.

In December, Mr. Musk fired James A. Baker, a Twitter attorney and former FBI general counsel, after Mr. Baker was involved in a review of the company’s decision to suppress a 2020 New York Post report about Hunter Trump. Internal correspondence for a report on Hunter Biden. laptop. The billionaire also has his personal lawyer working at Twitter and rotates in getting other legal help from SpaceX, the rocket company he founded and runs.

In addition to the FTC investigation, Twitter is also facing a series of lawsuits over unpaid bills for software, vendor services and rent. Former employees also sued the company, claiming it violated labor laws during the layoffs.

Twitter is also trying to take legal action against an unidentified person who leaked parts of its source code online, and was granted a subpoena last month to force GitHub, the software development collaboration platform that hosts the code, to leak information about him.

This week, Germany’s federal agency began fineing Twitter for failing to handle complaints about illegal content. “It’s the first time I’ve heard of this,” Mr Musk said. tweets Legal proceedings in Germany on Tuesday.

Mr Dowell’s resignation comes as Mr Musk said he was building a “strong litigation team” at his electric car maker Tesla.on tuesday he tweets The team will “go after Wall Street short sellers, certain law firms, and (sometimes) corrupt regulators who are the real monsters.”

Several Twitter executives have handed in their resignations only to return to work at the company, and it’s unclear whether Mr. Dowell will return to Twitter at some point.

Sales executive Robin Wheeler resigned in November, but returned for a few weeks. It’s unclear who at Twitter might inherit Mr. Dowell’s legal responsibilities.

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