The engineering lead for Twitter’s Growth organization, Foad Dabiri, announced his departure from the company on Thursday. His resignation comes a day after technical issues and glitches marred Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign announcement on the platform. In a series of tweets, Dabiri didn’t address the DeSantis’ campaign launch issues or specify if his departure was in connection to the incident. Instead, he wrote that he had decided to “leave the nest” after nearly four years with the company.
Dabiri studied for a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California Los Angeles, joining Google in 2011. He started health tech company Wanda in 2014 and stepped down as CEO in April 2019 before joining Twitter three months later.
Dabiri described two distinct eras at Twitter, before and after the acquisition by Chief Twit Elon Musk, noting a “challenging” transition in the “2.0” phase, calling it “massive and rapid” while commending Musk for his vision for the company. Dabiri wrote of Musk:
Working with @elonmusk has been highly educational, and it was enlightening to see how his principles and vision are shaping the future of this company.
Musk bought the company for a staggering $44 billion in October and quickly reduced its workforce from 8,000 employees to around 1,500 in an attempt to make the company solvent.
During my time @Twitter, I experienced two distinct eras: pre and post M&A. Both came with their fair share of challenges, but they also shared a grand mission and a team of extraordinary individuals. What truly made Twitter exceptional was, above all else, "the people."
— Foad Dabiri (@foaddabiri) May 25, 2023
Dabiri’s post, which he called a “pseudo-obligatory gratitude thread” had a positive tone. He wrote:
Twitter is a place that defies comprehension. It’s unique, peculiar, remarkable, and resilient, all thanks to the brilliant and capable individuals who have built and continue to shape it.
It’s impossible to grasp the inner workings of this platform and what goes on on a daily basis unless you’ve been fortunate enough to experience it firsthand. So kudos to the team that, despite all the outside noise, keep going and going strong.
The technical issues with the Twitter Spaces livestream caused a 20-minute delay to the launch event for DeSantis’ Republican nomination bid. Hundreds of thousands of users had left the platform before the stream could begin. The Twitter event drew more than 600,000 listeners, but by its conclusion, there were fewer than 300,000. Team DeSantis has mitigated the complications by highlighting the excitement generated by using the platform for the announcement, saying the excitement “broke the internet” and pointing to subsequent fundraising efforts. DeSantis’ Press Secretary Bryan Griffin announced the campaign had raised $1 million in the first hour after launch.
A former Twitter employee called the Spaces technology “janky,” saying:
“Spaces was largely a prototype, not a finished product. It’s a beta test that never ended.”
In 2015, Twitter acquired the video streaming platform Periscope. According to the former employee, Twitter Spaces, the feature experiencing technical problems on Wednesday, was built on the existing infrastructure of Periscope but was not properly integrated with Twitter, which likely contributed to the issues.
Tech entrepreneur David Sacks, who co-hosted the Twitter event alongside Musk, had a different theory, saying:
I think it crashed because when you multiply a half-million people in a room by an account with over 100 million followers, which is Elon’s account, I think that creates just a scalability level that was unprecedented.
I call it “massive attention”
Top story on Earth today
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 25, 2023
Business mogul Musk took it in stride calling the Twitter glitches “massive attention” and the “top story on Earth today.” Twitter has not provided a statement regarding Dabiri’s exit.
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