Washington: Three of Twitter Inc.'s top privacy and security officials said they're leaving, heightening concerns about the company's ability to keep its platform secure and comply with regulatory rules.
Lea Kissner, Twitter's former chief information security officer, announced that they were leaving Thursday. Damien Kieran, the chief privacy officer, and Marianne Fogarty, chief compliance officer, also resigned from the company on Wednesday night, according to an internal message reviewed by Bloomberg News.
"I've made the hard decision to leave Twitter," Kissner, who uses the pronoun they, wrote Thursday in a tweet. "I've had the opportunity to work with amazing people and I'm so proud of the privacy, security, and IT teams and the work we've done."
Under another tweet from Kissner saying they were "fiercely proud of the privacy, security and IT teams at Twitter, Kieran wrote, "There is nothing else to say."
Kieran nor Kissner didn't respond to requests for comment. Twitter also didn't respond. Fogarty couldn't immediately be reached; her LinkedIn account had disabled all communications.
The departures, which were previously reported by the Verge, came about a week after Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk, announced sweeping firings at the company and hours after Twitter began providing a verification badge to users who paid the company a monthly $8 fee.
Kissner, who previously held roles at Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google, took over the job of CISO in January 2022, according to their LinkedIn. Their elevation to the top information security job came after Peiter Zatko, also known as Mudge, left the role after a little more than one year of working at the company.
Twitter is currently bound by a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission that regulates how the company handles user data. In July, Zatko filed an 84-page whistleblower complaint with multiple US. government agencies, alleging that the company had violated the terms of its agreement with the FTC. Zatko also said the security lapses at Twitter were so grave that they threatened national security.
"All of this is extremely dangerous for our users," a Twitter employee said in a Slack message viewed by Bloomberg. Their identity is not known to Bloomberg. "Also, given that the FTC can (and will!) fine Twitter BILLIONS of dollars pursuant to the FTC Consent Order, extremely detrimental to Twitter's longevity as a platform. Our users deserve so much better than this."
In a statement, the FTC wrote it was tracking recent developments at Twitter with "deep concern." The agency added that no CEO or company is "above the law," and companies must follow consent decrees.
After announcing their departure, Twitter users thanked Kissner for their work on security at Twitter.
"I'm always here to help," Kissner replied. "I just have to go do it somewhere else, unfortunately."
The move comes in the middle of a large-scale layoff and product changes at the social media company under new boss Elon Musk.
Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion and took control on Oct. 27. He then moved quickly to push out some top executives including Chief Executive Parag Agrawal and announced layoffs affecting about half of Twitter's workforce.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the departures.