Who is Vijaya Gadde, who received 610 crore after being fired from Twitter by Elon Musk?

Who is Vijaya Gadde, who received 610 crore after being fired from Twitter by Elon Musk?

Despite their disagreement with Musk, the three are leaving with sizable payouts

Several Twitter employees, including CEO Parag Agrawal, head of legal affairs and policy Vijaya Gadde, and chief financial officer Ned Segal, were let go shortly after billionaire Elon Musk "freed" the bird. The firings weren't unexpected because Musk has previously accused them of lying to him and Twitter investors about the actual numbers related to bots and phoney accounts on the microblogging platform.

Despite their disagreement with Musk, the three are leaving with sizable payouts; according to The Free Press Journal, Gadde received the most money, at Rs 610 crore, followed by Segal at Rs 544 crore and Agarwal at Rs 536 crore. Meanwhile, several right-wing Twitterati groups are jubilant that Gadde has been fired.

Over the years, upper-caste Indians and white Americans had abused Indian-American Gadde online, most notably on two occasions: over a 2018 image of the hashtag "Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy," for which she later apologised, and over her attempts to permanently suspend Donald Trump's Twitter account.

When the deal to buy Twitter was announced in April 2022, Musk also criticised Gadde for her "left-wing bias" and for excluding some users from the platform.

But the main question arises who is Viajay Gadde? What are her connections with India and what are the controversies she has been to while her time on Twitter?

Vijaya Gadde was born in Hyderabad, India, in 1974 to a Telugu family. But she hadn't met her father until she relocated to Texas, in the United States, at the age of three. Gadde noted that her father was a struggling graduate student in America at the time, unable to provide for his family, in a 2014 interview with Fortune.

Gadde grew up in a small town in Texas, where there were only a handful of Indians; racism was rampant and the Ku Klux Klan had a significant local presence. "You don't realise it (KKK's presence) when you're a child," she told Fortune, adding that her father needed their permission to sell insurance. Gadde later realised that this wasn't right and decided to become a lawyer to fight racism.

Vijaya was studying in Cornell University in New York where she completed her graduate degree in Industrial and labour relations and later went to New York to study law. She worked in the legal department of Juniper Networks as a senior director.

Who is Vijaya Gadde, who received 610 crore after being fired from Twitter by Elon Musk?
'That is why I bought Twitter': Elon Musk's latest message for advertisers

She joined Twitter in 2011, and one of her main duties was responding to harassing and fake news messages.

Ramsey Homsany, a lawyer and technology executive, and Gadde are married. Together, they have two kids. The pair typically keeps their personal affairs out of the spotlight.

Her tweets identify her as a South Asian woman, who stays true to her Telugu-Hindu roots by celebrating festivals like Vinayaka Chaturthi and Diwali.

Twitter former CEO Jack Dorsey and Gadde held a closed-door meeting in 2018 with a select group of Indian journalists and activists, during which the company agreed to look into whether it must include caste as a separate reporting category under its hateful conduct policy, as per a mail sent to the participants of the meeting.

Dorsey was seen holding a placard that said, "Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy" when he and Gadde were later seen with the activists. Hindu right-wingers and members of the upper caste immediately denounced Twitter for "insulting Brahmins," prompting Gadde to apologise and claim that Twitter was determined to remain "apolitical."

Gadde reportedly contributed significantly to the 2020 suspension of Donald Trump's Twitter account. Musk, though, sparked controversy once more during the Twitter acquisition by referring to himself as a "free speech absolutist" and calling Twitter's Trump ban "a mistake."

During a debate with American YouTuber Tim Pool and Dorsey on the radio show The Joe Rogan Experience, he even uploaded a meme with Gadde on it regarding Twitter's "left-wing bias."

Following this, Gadde ended up on the receiving end of racist abuse. Expletives were used with respect to her Indian origin, including terms like "curry." Some Twitter users wanted her fired from the firm while others accused her of deleting countless accounts for "telling the truth."

Related Stories

No stories found.
Indians In Gulf