Twitter Lawyers Find Jobs After Tumultuous Exit Under Musk (1)


Three more ex-Twitter Inc. lawyers have found new jobs, joining nearly two dozen others who have successfully landed after being swept up in a mass employee exodus stemming from Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company.

Damien Kieran this week joined BeReal as the Paris-based app’s general counsel after he quit his role as Twitter’s deputy general counsel and chief privacy officer in November. Madelyn Jordan-Davis, a former global head of employee relations at Twitter, on Monday became a senior director and associate general counsel for employment and litigation at e-signature company DocuSign Inc.

Karen Colangelo is now head of litigation, employment, and intellectual property for OpenSea, a non-fungible token marketplace. Colangelo, who like Kieran announced her new job last week on social media, had most recently been Twitter’s global head of litigation, regulatory and competition.

The hires show that opportunities abound for some in-house lawyers with senior-level expertise despite a spate of layoffs in the technology sector, said P.J. Harari, a partner focused on in-house counsel recruitment at Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Harari said Twitter is an outlier among its Big Tech counterparts in that most of its lawyers exited en masse and many left if their own volition, giving them time to plan their next career steps.

Two more ex-Twitter lawyers found themselves Wednesday in another kind of new role—testifying before Congress.

Former chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde and former Twitter deputy general counsel James Baker both testified before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. The hearing focused on Twitter’s October 2020 decision to restrict access to a New York Post story about President Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

Legal Network

The uncertainty surrounding Musk’s Twitter takeover led lawyers to begin fleeing its roughly 200-strong legal team last summer. Others left after Musk eliminated about 3,700 employees, starting with Gadde and former general counsel Sean Edgett.

Musk fired Baker in December around the same time that Twitter parted ways with its last deputy general counsel. The company’s current legal group has coalesced around a handful of former mid-level lawyers who have divvied up responsibilities.

Some former Twitter lawyers who have landed new roles, such as Ashley Roybal-Reid, who became a product counsel last month at Mozilla Corp., found that a network of their former colleagues was crucial in their job search.

Roybal-Reid said that before she joined Mozilla, she had pursued a job opportunity at another company where Twitter alumni provided information and internal referrals. “While I didn’t end up at that company, the Twitter network did smooth the way for my application there,” she said.

Marianne Fogarty, a former chief compliance officer at Twitter until she departed in November, is “thrilled” to see so many ex-Twitter lawyers land jobs, she said this week via LinkedIn. She urged others to reach out for “referrals, references, networking connections, talking through ideas and options, or anything else.”

Daniel Brennan, now legal chief for enterprise data startup Dataiku Inc. and one of the first lawyers hired at Twitter more than a decade ago, last month brought on global employment counsel Janet Wilson, who held a similar role at Twitter.

Brennan used LinkedIn to praise the “incredibly talented, dedicated, and brilliant group of humans” in Twitter’s legal group, a unit known by some as “Tweagle.”

Moving Forward

The technology sector was one of the most active for legal job changes in the last year, according to a recent report by the Association of Corporate Counsel.

Etsy Inc., which just hired Facebook’s former legal chief as its top lawyer, tapped former Twitter senior product counsel Krista Cox in January to be an assistant general counsel and director of global regulatory.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google, a conglomerate facing a key antitrust showdown, last month added former Twitter senior counsel for global litigation, regulatory and competition Raven Norris to its regulatory response, investigations, and strategy unit.

Intuit Inc., a software company home to several former Twitter lawyers, in January hired two others who also left the company legal department. Nada Rastad was named a senior cybersecurity and data lifespan counsel, while Lina Lozano Oviedo took a role as a senior product counsel.

Axiom Inc., a legal staffing and technology platform, brought back last month a pair of lawyers it sent in-house at Twitter.

Other companies, from advertising giant the Interpublic Group of Cos. to the NFL and social media service Pinterest Inc., have been busy hiring ex-Twitter lawyers this year. Former Twitter lawyers have also landed at Crowell & Moring and restaurant software provider Toast Inc.

Those moves came after still more employers—such as Applied Materials Inc., Podium Corp. Inc., and Flutter Entertainment PLC’s Junglee Games—welcomed aboard former Twitter lawyers in December.

Related Posts