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Twitter’s Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde to Join the Board of Data Company Planet

Twitter’s Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde to Join the Board of Data Company Planet

  • As it prepares to become a public company, Planet is banking on her “history of leadership at high-growth, global companies,” which will help it “navigate the scaling of its business and products across international markets.”

Vijaya Gadde, Twitter, Inc.’s chief legal officer, is joining the board of directors of Planet, a leading provider of geospatial data for use in agriculture, government, and commercial mapping. One of Twitter’s most powerful executives, Gadde, 46, played a crucial role, first blocking and then permanently banning President Trump’s personal account, for breaking its rules against “glorifying violence.”

As Planet prepares to become a public company, it says it is banking on Gadde’s “history of leadership at high-growth, global companies,” which will help it “navigate the scaling of its business and products across international markets,” according to a company press release.

“Planet’s mission and business are unique and incredibly compelling and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the team as they enter this next stage of growth as a public company,” said Gadde. “Their daily images and data are already having an impact today and hold immense potential to enable new types of global transparency tomorrow.”

In an Oct. 28, 2020 profile of Gadde, Politico called the 45-year-old the “lead architect of the policy approach that led Twitter to clamp down on everyone from everyday harassers to the Proud Boys to President Donald Trump.” The report said she’s “been out front in defending it, arguing that the shift makes sense as a corporate strategy.”

Bloomberg called Gadde the “end of the line when it comes to account enforcement — a delicate position in a world where Twitter’s rules are both an affront to free speech and an invitation to racists and bigots, depending on who’s tweeting at you.” Gadde told Bloomberg in a Jan. 15, 2020 interview: “No matter what we do we’ve been accused of bias. Leaving content up, taking content down — that’s become pretty much background noise.”

As per several blog posts published on Twitter, Gadde, who oversees about 350 people, works on a wide range of issues including the current COVID-19 pandemic, pushing back on governments, and pushing for technical changes within the company.

Gadde’s closeness to Dorsey is most evident during “Twitter’s highest-stakes moments,” Politico said. “When Dorsey met with President Donald Trump in 2019, Gadde was in the Oval Office with them. She was at Dorsey’s side to meet the Dalai Lama in India. She’s accompanied him to Washington to speak with legislators and meet with journalists.”

In 2019, Gadde was instrumental in Twitter banning all political ads. “It wasn’t about anything other than, this is the right thing to do for us as a company,” she told Politico in a July 2019 interview.

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When Gadde took over as general counsel in 2013, the social-media service had an “everything goes” mentality, Bloomberg said. She told the news outlet that she was “the only Indian child most of my education until I went to college. Gadde told Bloomberg that voicelessness she felt drew her to Twitter. “This platform gives you a voice, and gives you a community and gives you power,” she said. But over the years the company’s policies have changed. She told Bloomberg that the “company has shifted its approach dramatically [since I started].”

Born in Hyderabad, Gadde moved to the U.S. as a child and grew up in east Texas, where her dad worked as a chemical engineer in oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, before moving to New Jersey in middle school.

Before joining Twitter in 2011, she was senior director, legal at Juniper Networks and before that she worked for nearly a decade at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Vijaya serves on the Board of Trustees of NYU Law School and the Board of Directors of Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian aid and development organization, which partners with communities, corporations, and governments. She is also a co-founder of #Angels, an investment collective focused on funding diverse and ambitious founders pursuing bold ideas. She earned a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.S. in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University.

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