Hours after becoming the owner of Twitter on Thursday, Elon Musk axed four of the company’s executives. One of those execs played a key role in deciding to kick then-President Donald Trump off the platform.
Vijaya Gadde Gadde headed the team that decided to boot Trump off Twitter in January 2021 after the Capitol riot.
In May, Musk said he would let Trump back on Twitter, calling the decision to ban him “morally bad.”
According to a January 2021 report from The Washington Post, Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s then-top legal and policy executive, led the team that decided whether or not to ban Trump. Twitter permanently suspended Trump from the platform on January 8, 2021, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence” after the Capitol riot.
Gadde was one of the key shot-callers regarding the Trump ban. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was vacationing on a private island at the time, per The New York Times. When asked about the role she played in banning Trump, a Twitter spokesperson told CNN Business in October 2021 that decisions regarding bans are made by the Trust and Safety team, which reported to Gadde.
Gadde was also tasked with asking her Twitter colleagues to have patience while they decided what to do with Trump, per The Post. The former president was slapped with a permanent Twitter ban less than three hours after Gadde held the emergency meeting, The Post reported.
Gadde worked for Twitter for more than 11 years, her LinkedIn profile shows. She joined the company in July 2011 as a legal director.
The other executives Musk fired on Thursday include Twitter’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and general counsel Sean Edgett. The fired executives stand to make a total of $88 million in payouts.
It’s unclear if Musk fired Gadde because of her role in the decision to ban Trump. Gadde, Musk, and representatives for Twitter did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Musk said in May that he would reverse Twitter’s Trump ban, saying that booting Trump off Twitter was a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.”
“I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” said Musk, per the Associated Press.
The former president has said that he won’t return to Twitter. However, that might change, considering Twitter was Trump’s main form of outreach when he was president. The “@realDonaldTrump” account had more than 88 million followers when Twitter permanently suspended him in January 2021.
Trump has his own social media site now, Truth Social. The former president has resolved to post on Truth Social before any other social media site, according to a regulatory filing in May.