|Real Name:||Vijaya Gadde|
Vijaya Gadde (born 1974) is an American attorney formally working as the policy, safety lead director, chief legal officer, and general counsel of Twitter. In 2014, Fortune described her as the most powerful woman on Twitter’s executive team, though she was later joined by Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Berland. She convinced then-CEO Jack Dorsey not to sell political advertisements during the 2020 United States presidential election. She has spoken in defence of the decision by stating, “It wasn’t about anything other than, ‘This is the right thing to do for us as a company.'”
In October 2020, Politico profiled her as “the most powerful technology executive you’ve never heard of.”
Vijaya Gadde Biography
|Born||1974 (age 48)
|Education||Cornell University (BS)
New York University (JD)
Early life and education
Gadde was born in India to a Telugu family and moved to the United States at age three. Her father pursued graduate studies in the United States and initially did not have the financial means to send for his wife and daughter until Gadde turned three. Her family moved to Beaumont, Texas. She has described her childhood as having been affected by the Ku Klux Klan presence in Beaumont, so much that her Indian father was required to get permission from the local Klan before he could go door-to-door for soliciting insurance.
Gadde received a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial and labour relations from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a Juris Doctor from the New York University School of Law in 2000.
Before joining Twitter in 2011, Gadde spent nearly a decade working at the Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. She was also a senior director in the legal department of Silicon Valley technology firm Juniper Networks. While at WSGR, Gadde worked on the 2006 $4.1 billion McClatchy Co.-Knight Ridder Inc. acquisition and acted as counsel to the New York Stock Exchange’s Proxy Working Group and Committee on Corporate Governance.
She has also announced Twitter’s hiring of researchers to study the health of discourse on the platform.
In 2018, Gadde joined Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for meetings in India where they talked with several Dalit activists about their experiences on Twitter; after the meeting, the activists gave Dorsey a sign reading “Smash Brahminical Patriarchy,” which he was later photographed holding. The photograph attracted controversy, with some critics calling the sentiment discriminatory against Brahmins while others deemed it an appropriate response to caste- and gender-based oppression in India. Gadde responded to the social media furore with an apology in a series of tweets, “I’m very sorry for this. It’s not reflective of our views. We took a private photo with a gift just given to us – we should have been more thoughtful. Twitter strives to be an impartial platform for all. We failed to do that here & we must do better to serve our customers in India.”
She was one of the key officials at Twitter involved in the decision to suspend the account of former American President Donald Trump.
Gadde, who earned $17 million in 2021 as Twitter’s chief legal officer, Following news of Elon Musk‘s acquisition of Twitter reportedly cried during a virtual meeting with the policy and legal teams when discussing it. Under Gadde, Twitter’s policy was to censor hate speech and harmful content. Musk suggested the platform should only remove content if required by the law.