Twitter engineering head resigns day after Ron DeSantis launch issues
An engineering chief has resigned from Twitter a day after the disastrous launch of Ron DeSantis’s US presidential campaign, which was blighted by a series of technical issues.
Foad Dabiri, the engineering lead for Twitter’s Growth organisation, tweeted: “After almost four incredible years at Twitter, I decided to leave the nest yesterday.”
A malfunctioning Twitter livestream meant that the launch of Mr Desantis’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination got under way 20 minutes late. The 500,000 Twitter users who tuned in experienced microphone feedback, holding music and whispered complaints by Twitter CEO, Elon Musk, and his aides about “melting” servers.
According to Reuters news agency figures, by the end of the event there were fewer than 300,000 users still listening.
Mr Dabiri did not say why he had decided to leave the company, or whether it was linked to the problems with Mr DeSantis’s campaign.
In a thread on Twitter, he thanked his “remarkable” colleagues for their friendship, stating the company had experienced “massive and rapid” change under Mr Musk.
“We came through and emerged stronger,” he added. “To say it was challenging at the outset would be an understatement.”
He added that working with the Tesla founder “has been highly educational”, and that it was “enlightening” to see how his plans were shaping the future of Twitter.
The chaos of the campaign launch provided meat for mockery from Mr DeSantis’s opponents. Joe Biden shared a link to his campaign donation page, and wrote, “This link works”, while Donald Trump, posting on his Truth Social platform, said: “Wow! The DeSanctus TWITTER launch is a DISASTER! His whole campaign will be a disaster. WATCH!”
Despite the bumpy start to his speech, Mr DeSantis raised $8.2m in his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, according to his press secretary, Bryan Griffin, who claimed the online event had raised $1m in an hour.
The amount is almost double the $4m that Mr Trump’s campaign said it had raised in the 24 hours after his criminal indictment earlier this year. The Florida governor is widely seen as Mr Trump’s biggest rival to be the party’s nominee in the 2024 election.
While polls show Mr Trump has a vast lead among Republican voters, Mr DeSantis could stand to benefit if the numerous legal issues Mr Trump faces derail his campaign, ahead of the primaries beginning in February 2024.
Mr Musk, who also owns the rocket firm SpaceX, bought Twitter for $44bn (£35.4bn) in October.
Since taking over, Mr Musk has cut more than 80 per cent of the firm’s workforce, including engineers who handle technical issues.