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Senior Twitter Lawyer Resigns, the Newest in a Collection of Government Departures

SAN FRANCISCO — A senior lawyer at Twitter submitted his resignation on Thursday, 4 individuals acquainted with the matter mentioned, turning into the most recent in a string of executives to go away the corporate since Elon Musk took it over practically six months in the past.

The lawyer, Christian Dowell, rose to the highest of Twitter’s authorized division in current months after the corporate’s authorized leaders resigned or have been fired by Mr. Musk. Mr. Dowell had been intimately concerned in Twitter’s current negotiations with the Federal Commerce Fee, two individuals acquainted with these discussions mentioned.

The F.T.C., which at present has oversight over Twitter, is trying right into a former government’s claims that the corporate has had safety issues. The fee accelerated its inquiry after the sudden resignations of three Twitter executives accountable for privateness, safety and compliance. They departed Twitter in November, shortly after Mr. Musk acquired the corporate.

The company’s investigation into Twitter has intensified in current months, and is scrutinizing whether or not the corporate has the sources to uphold its privateness guarantees after mass layoffs and resignations.

Mr. Dowell didn’t reply to a request for remark. Mr. Musk didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Mr. Musk sought to satisfy with a number of the F.T.C.’s commissioners in current months to debate the investigation, two individuals acquainted with his efforts mentioned. Solely Christine Wilson, the departing Republican commissioner, accepted his request. Mr. Dowell coordinated Twitter’s responses to the F.T.C.’s inquiries and took part in arranging the assembly, these individuals mentioned.

Ms. Wilson stepped down from her place final Friday. In a Wall Road Journal opinion piece about her determination to resign, she mentioned Lina Khan, the F.T.C. chair, held “disregard for the rule of legislation and due course of and the best way senior F.T.C. officers allow her.”

Mr. Dowell joined Twitter in 2020 after stints on the question-and-answer web site Quora and Fb, and targeted on product points earlier than he was promoted in December, turning into the top of authorized overseeing Twitter’s product.

Mr. Dowell’s departure follows a spate of exits by authorized and compliance executives on the social media firm. On the day that Mr. Musk closed his deal for Twitter in late October, he fired Vijaya Gadde, then the corporate’s chief authorized officer, and its common counsel, Sean Edgett.

In December, Mr. Musk fired James A. Baker, a Twitter lawyer and a former common counsel on the F.B.I., after Mr. Baker performed a job in reviewing inner communications in regards to the firm’s determination to suppress a 2020 New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. The billionaire has additionally sidelined his personal lawyer from working at Twitter and rotated in different authorized assist from SpaceX, the rocket firm he based and operates.

Past the F.T.C. investigation, Twitter is dealing with a number of lawsuits over unpaid payments for software program, vendor companies and lease. Former workers have additionally sued the corporate, claiming that it violated labor legal guidelines throughout layoffs.

Twitter additionally sought to pursue authorized motion in opposition to an unknown one that leaked portions of its source code online and obtained a subpoena final month compelling GitHub, the software program improvement collaboration platform that hosted the code, to expose details about the particular person.

This week, a German federal physique started proceedings to nice Twitter for what it mentioned was the corporate’s failure to cope with complaints of unlawful content material. “First I’ve heard about this,” Mr. Musk tweeted on Tuesday in regards to the German authorized proceedings.

Mr. Dowell’s resignation comes as Mr. Musk mentioned he was constructing a “highly effective litigation workforce” at Tesla, his electrical carmaker. On Tuesday, he tweeted that this workforce would go “after the Wall St short-sellers, sure legislation companies & (generally) corrupt regulators who’re the true evil.”

A number of Twitter executives have submitted their resignations, solely to return to work on the firm, and it’s unclear whether or not Mr. Dowell may return to Twitter in some unspecified time in the future.

Robin Wheeler, a gross sales government, resigned in November however got here again and stayed for a number of extra weeks. It was not instantly clear who at Twitter may inherit Mr. Dowell’s authorized tasks.

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