Twitter confirmed on Thursday that two senior executives were headed for the exit and it suspended most hiring as Elon Musk is set to become the new owner of the global messaging platform.
Kayvon Beykpour, managing director who leads research, design and engineering at Twitter, is leaving with chief product officer Bruce Falck, a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.
Beykpour, however, said he was ousted from the San Francisco-based tech company.
“The truth is, this isn’t how and when I imagined leaving Twitter, and it wasn’t my decision,” Beykpour, who is on paternity leave, said in a tweet.
Twitter chief Parag Agrawal “asked me to leave after letting me know he wanted to take the team in a different direction,” he added.
Twitter also confirmed that, starting this week, it was suspending all hiring except for business-critical positions.
Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy Twitter was announced last month but still needs support from shareholders and regulators.
The takeover is expected to close later in 2022, with Musk – who runs space exploration company SpaceX and electric carmaker Tesla – stepping in as boss for at least a little while.
Musk has publicly said he will lift Twitter’s ban on Donald Trump, saying kicking the former US president off the platform “alienated much of the country”.
Musk’s endorsement of a Trump comeback sparked fears among activists that Musk would “open the floodgates of hate”.
Trump has publicly stated that he would not return to Twitter if allowed, sticking to his own social network, Truth Social, which failed to gain traction.
Trump was kicked off Twitter and other online platforms after supporters, inflamed by his tweets and speech alleging voter fraud, attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in a deadly attempt to block Joe Biden from be certified as the winner of the second presidential election. months earlier.
Musk said permanent bans on Twitter should be rare and reserved for accounts that are spam, scams, or run by “bot” software.
Activist groups have called on Twitter advertisers to boycott the service if it opens the doors to abusive and misinforming posts with Musk as its owner.
The fate of Twitter’s top lawyer, seen as a moral champion of the platform, has been in doubt since Musk tweeted his displeasure at the content moderation she had carried out.
The attorney, Vijaya Gadde, has led efforts to combat bullying and messages that could cause real harm such as the US Capitol riot.
She was involved in the decision to ban Trump, and others, including removing political advertising from the app.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)