SAN FRANCISCO -- Alex Macgillivray, Twitter’s top lawyer who pushed back against government and law enforcement demands and helped stake out the company’s stance as “the free speech wing of the free speech party,” is stepping down.
He made the announcement in a blog post on Friday. And on Twitter, of course: "Passing the torch. I care deeply about Twitter and our users, will continue to help while exploring other passions"
Vijaya Gadde, who has handled Twitter’s corporate and international legal work, will take over as general counsel. Macgillivray said he would continue to work as an advisor to Twitter.
“I continue to care deeply about Twitter, the folks who work at Twitter and our tremendous users, so I’ll remain close to all three,” Macgillivray said in a blog post.
There was an immediate outpouring on Twitter from Macgillivray’s admirers who said they were grateful for his efforts to protect Twitter users’ rights and his advocacy of digital civil liberties.
Tweeted Silicon Valley investor Hunter Walk: "@amac is one of the best I've seen. Not just 'lawyer w good soul' but rather a good soul who happens to practice law."
It’s unclear if Twitter will maintain that same level of commitment to free speech rights after Macgillivray, known on Twitter as @amac, leaves the company. As Twitter expands around the world and prepares for a hotly anticipated initial public stock offering, that commitment has become tougher to maintain.