If Elon Musk completes his purchase of Twitter, the company’s chief counsel, who is widely regarded as the social network’s main advocate for silencing conservatives, would be among the highly compensated employees who will lose their jobs.
Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s chief legal counsel, who earned $17 million last year, might be on the chopping block as Musk reportedly plans to cut positions and lower executive compensation as he seeks funding for his Twitter bid.
Musk voiced “no confidence” in Twitter’s present management after announcing plans to buy the firm earlier this month, which doesn’t speak well for their future if he takes over later this year.
Nevertheless, Gadde also stands to win a nice consolation price if she’s fired: a severance package worth $12.5 million that includes the accelerated vesting of a trove of Twitter shares she has accrued.
The 48-year-old Gadde, who reportedly broke down in tears when addressing colleagues about the future of Twitter, has become a lightning rod for controversy in recent days due in no small part to Musk himself, who tweeted a meme that painted her as oblivious to a “liberal bias” at Twitter.
The meme draws on an appearance by Gadde and her then-boss, former CEO Jack Dorsey, on Joe Rogan’s podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” in 2019.
Conservative journalist Tim Pool addressed both Dorsey and Gadde about instances where right-wing speakers were blocked from Twitter at that event.
The Musk tweet, as well as a critical tweet by writer Saagar Enjeti, who referred to Gadde as Twitter’s “top censorship advocate” who “censored the Hunter Biden laptop story,” sparked backlash from pro-Musk Twitter users.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 27, 2022
Musk also indirectly chastised Gadde by calling Twitter’s decision to ban links to the New York Post’s laptop article “clearly really irresponsible.”
In the weeks leading up to the election, major social media sites banned the story, with Twitter explaining its censorship by calling it “content obtained through hacking that contains private information.”
Many mainstream media sites attempted to debunk the Post’s scoop before reporting on its truth once President Joe Biden was elected.
Another top Twitter official defended Gadde and accused Musk of “misogyny” in reaction to the barrage of online vitriol thrown at her earlier this week.
Lara Cohen, Twitter’s global head of partnerships, also expressed her support for Leslie Berland, the company’s top marketing officer, who was heard on tape stating that Musk’s intentions for free speech put them in a “very difficult situation” in leaked audio.
“Color me shocked SHOCKED that people are coming for two of our prominent female executives on day 1 of this thing,” Cohen Tweeted late Tuesday.
She also shared a tweet attacking Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley for pointing out that the tearful Gadde was “the same one who led the charge to censor the Hunter Biden laptop reporting. Says it all.”
Hawley urged the world’s richest man to look at the company’s previous practises, such as widespread account suspensions and reports of shadowbans stifling voices.
In an official letter, he called on Musk to also investigate “who was responsible for deliberately suppressing the New York Post’s now vindicated reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop and business dealings.”
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