Irish privacy boss Damien Kieran leads Twitter executive exodus

Twitter’s global chief privacy officer, Irishman Damien Kieran, has reportedly left the company alongside Twitter’s chief information security officer. The move comes as Elon Musk’s firm becomes mired in product u-turns and managerial chaos.

Elon Musk’s Twitter has been mired in product u-turns and managerial chaos

Adrian Weckler and Anne-Marie Walsh

The global chief privacy officer of Twitter, Irishman Damien Kieran, has reportedly resigned from the company in a mass exodus of senior security and privacy executives.

Contacted by the Irish Independent, Mr Kieran declined to comment.

His departure, first reported by The Verge, occurs at the same time as Twitter’s chief information security officer, Lea Kissinger.

“I’ve made the hard decision to leave twitter,” she tweeted. “I've had the opportunity to work with amazing people and I'm so proud of the privacy, security, and IT teams and the work we've done.”

A spokesperson for the Irish Data Protection Commission said that the regulator has not yet received any notification from Twitter about the change, but will be making contact with the social media network. Under EU rules, companies such as Twitter are required to have “qualified” data protection officers and processes in place.

The resignations come after a chaotic week for the social media platform, with the company firing up to half its staff, including key security, safety and compliance personnel.

Elon Musk’s lawyer is reported to have responded to the departures by saying that he is focusing on engineering new products and is “not afraid” of regulators.

Twitter has already been fined €450,000 by the Irish DPC for not notifying the Irish regulator of a data breach in time.

In Dublin, hundreds of staff are being let go.

And Mr Musk has banned remote working, requiring employees to attend the office at least 40 hours per week.

One Twitter employee said the ban on remote working has worried many staff, particularly those with children, and said it was likely to drive women out of the workforce.

She said staff are in a quandary about whether they should turn up to the office today. Most are not required to attend the office unless they opt to do so. Some work completely remotely.

Another worker said the message could not have come at a worse time for staff based in London because of strikes on the Tube today.

“For a company that is so very family first, this will drive women out and is a massive concern for many parents,” said the Twitter worker. “We have people who are just back from maternity leave and others have to do pick-ups at creches and so on.”