In what is being called a surprise move, Twitter’s general counsel, Alexander Macgillivray, has quit his job.
On the other hand, not surprisingly, Macgillivray chose to tweet the announcement.
Macgillivray, who has background in intellectual property law, took over in the top attorney’s post in September 2009. It appears he will remain on as an adviser.
Vijaya Gadde is Macgillivray’s replacement. She is becoming one of the few women who are general counsels in tech companies.
Gadde is in charge of Twitter’s corporate and international legal work, and was previously senior director for legal matters at Juniper Networks, news reports said. Given that Twitter may go for an IPO, it is noteworthy that Gadde has background in corporate and securities law, according to Reuters. An IPO could come next year.
Twitter, which has over 200 million active users, declined to comment on the departure.
Image courtesy Shutterstock
When speculating why Macgillivray is leaving, some sources told All Things D he is vested, the IPO is a tough process, and he and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo have had a tense relationship sometimes. There has also been a reorganization of Twitter’s legal department recently.
While at Google, Macgillivray worked on Web search and Gmail. Earlier, he worked at the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati law firm. Gadde also worked at Wilson Sonsini.
At Twitter, he has defended free speech and user rights. He has praise for Gadde.
“Vijaya has been managing Twitter’s corporate and international legal work, and I’ve gotten to know her well over the last fourteen years. I couldn’t be happier with her appointment as General Counsel of Twitter,” he said in a personal blog post.
“I’ll continue to support the company and its great people by staying on as an advisor for the legal, trust & safety, corporate development and public policy teams. I continue to care deeply about Twitter, the folks who work at Twitter and our tremendous users, so I’ll remain close to all three,” he added.
“I am proud to have worked with colleagues who defend and respect the user’s voice; who push freedom of expression and transparency; and who innovate and lead,” he continued.
What about the future?
He says he’s “looking forward to engaging my various Internet passions from new and different perspectives, seeing friends and family without distraction, and just goofing off a bit.”
Edited by Rory J. Thompson