SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter Inc chief executive officer Parag Agrawal defended the company on Tuesday in an email to employees after a former executive claimed the social network ignored major security vulnerabilities and doesn’t know how many spam bots it has on the platform.
Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, the former top security executive at Twitter, filed the whistle-blower complaint with Congress and regulatory agencies. Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk’s lawyers are already seeking more information in an effort to help Musk get out of a $44 billion Twitter acquisition deal he signed in April.
Twitter disputed the claims on Tuesday, adding that Zatko was fired in January for poor performance. Agrawal warned employees of coming distractions from media attention, and said he will address them at a staff meeting Wednesday. Zatko couldn’t be reached for comment.
“Mudge stands by everything in his disclosure, and his career of ethical and effective leadership speaks for itself,” John Tye, chief disclosure officer at Whistleblower Aid, said in an emailed statement. “The focus should be on the facts laid out in the disclosure, not ad hominem attacks against the whistleblower.”
Here’s Agrawal’s full email to employees, which was reviewed by Bloomberg:
There are news reports outlining claims about Twitter’s privacy, security, and data protection practices that were made by Mudge Zatko, a former Twitter executive who was terminated in January 2022 for ineffective leadership and poor performance. We are reviewing the redacted claims that have been published, but what we’ve seen so far is a false narrative that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies, and presented without important context.
I know this is frustrating and confusing to read, given Mudge was accountable for many aspects of this work he is now inaccurately portraying more than six months after his termination. But none of this takes away from the important work you have done and continue to do to safeguard the privacy and security of our customers and their data. This year alone, we have meaningfully accelerated our progress through increased focus and incredible leadership from Lea Kissner, Damien Kieran, and Nick Caldwell. This work continues to be an important priority for us, and if you want to read more about our approach, you can find a summary here.
Given the spotlight on Twitter at the moment, we can assume that we will continue to see more headlines in the coming days – this will only make our work harder. I know that all of you take a lot of pride in the work we do together and in the values that guide us. We will pursue all paths to defend our integrity as a company and set the record straight.
See you all at #OneTeam tomorrow,