Twitter engineering boss quits after DeSantis launch glitches

Twitter engineering boss quits after DeSantis launch glitches

By Peter Hoskins and Annabelle Liang Business Reporters 26 May 2023 04:37 BST

Updated 57 minutes ago

Image source, Getty Images

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DeSantis’ long-awaited entry into the 2024 race for the White House was hit by technical glitches.

A Twitter engineering chief says he is leaving the company a day after Ron DeSantis’ US presidential campaign launch on the platform was hit by technical glitches.

Foad Dabiri tweeted: “After almost four incredible years on Twitter, I decided to leave the nest yesterday.”

DeSantis’ entry into the race for the White House was hit by problems after a live stream on Twitter malfunctioned.

More than 80% of the firm’s workforce has been cut since Musk bought it.

Dabiri, who was the head of engineering for Twitter’s Growth organization, said in a tweet that he had “experienced two different periods” at the company, before and after it was bought by the multi-billionaire last year.

In another post, Dabiri said the transition to Twitter’s “2.0” was “massive and fast.”

He added: “To say it was challenging at first would be an understatement.”

Dabiri did not specify why he decided to leave Twitter and whether it was related to problems with the DeSantis incident on the platform.

He did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment. Twitter did not issue a statement on Dabiri’s departure when approached by the BBC.

However, Mr. Dabiri said: “Working with @elonmusk has been very educational and it’s been enlightening to see how his principles and vision are shaping the future of this company.”

By the time Wednesday night’s Twitter chat began in earnest, hundreds of thousands of Twitter users had left the platform.

The Florida governor is seen as former President Donald Trump’s main rival to be his party’s nominee in the 2024 general election.

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Watch: Hear DeSantis’ botched Twitter broadcast

Musk, who also runs carmaker Tesla and rocket firm SpaceX, bought Twitter for $44bn (£35.4bn) in October.

Speaking to the BBC last month, he said cutting the workforce from just under 8,000 people when he bought the firm to around 1,500 had not been easy.

Since Musk took the reins at Twitter, he has laid off thousands of employees, including engineers responsible for the site’s operations and troubleshooting technical issues.

Mr. DeSantis’ team quickly worked to overcome the technical hurdles, tweeting that the announcement had broken “the internet with so much excitement” and posting a link to the campaign’s website.

His press secretary Bryan Griffin claimed the online event had raised $1 million in an hour.

At one point, the Twitter event drew more than 600,000 followers, according to figures from the Reuters news agency, but by the end of it, there were fewer than 300,000.

Once the live stream began, DeSantis turned the conversation to his conservative credentials and promoted his handling of the Covid-19 crisis in his state — an anti-lockdown approach applauded by many Republicans.

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