Twitter’s VP of engineering to depart for Meta amid cybersecurity concerns, Musk takeover

As Twitter navigates a grueling legal battle with Elon Musk and his plans to acquire the company, yet another executive is leaving, according to a report by Insider, which Twitter also confirmed. 

Sandeep Pandey, the Vice President of Engineering, is leaving Twitter after more than a decade to join Meta, formerly known as Facebook. Pandey joined the company back in 2012 and worked his way up from being a staff engineer to the VP role. 

In an email to TechCrunch, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed Pandey was leaving the company and said his departure is natural given industry trends. Twitter emphasized it remains focused on managing the company effectively.

TechCrunch reached out to Meta but did not receive an immediate comment.

According to Insider, who first reported the move, Pandey will work on Meta’s A.I. and machine learning teams. The move is notable not only for its impact on Twitter, but also because Meta earlier this year said it would scale back hiring and cut its overhead. Additionally, the company posted its first-ever quarterly revenue decline during its second quarter and is facing an FTC lawsuit over an M&A deal in the VR space. 

This isn’t the first time Twitter executives have left the company this year. Since Musk announced a potential takeover, Katrina Lane the former VP of Twitter service; Ilya Brown, VP of Health; and Max Schmeiser, head of data science departed back in May. Twitter also fired Kayvon Beykpour, former head of product, and Bruce Falck, former head of product revenue, as the company attempted to reorganize. 

Musk originally offered to purchase the company for $44 billion and later backed out of the deal claiming the company lied about the number of spam accounts (aka “bots”) present on the platform.  

Most recently, Twitter has come under scrutiny following privacy concerns. The former head of security, Peiter Zatko, this week accused the company of cybersecurity negligence ranging from flawed data protection to federal violation in a complaint filed with the FTC, SEC and Justice Department.  The allegations were dismissed by Twitter saying they presented a false narrative. 

Following the release of Zatko’s information, Ireland and France’s data protection authorities told TechCrunch they would be following up on the whistleblower’s complaint. The U.S. Senate will also hear testimony from Zatko about Twitter’s security failures on September 13, 2022.

In addition to the complaints this year, Twitter issued a hiring freeze in May and laid off close to 30% of its talent acquisition team two months later. 

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