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Hacker Takes Over Twitter Security, Zoom Adds a Big Name to Board and More People on the Move

November 25, 2020 Leadership
Mike Prokopeak
By Mike Prokopeak
Twitter is putting the security of its platform in the hands of a hacker. One of the good kind, that is.

Reuters reported on Nov. 16 that Peiter Zatko, widely known by his hacker handle ‘Mudge,’ will join the San Francisco-based social media company in a newly created head of security position.

Peiter Zatko head of security Twitter
PHOTO: Official Photo, U.S. Department of Defense.
The move follows the hiring of Rinki Sethi as chief information security officer at the end of September. Until Sethi’s hiring, the company had been without a chief information security officer since December 2019, a period that included a major security breach in July that saw hackers break into Twitter’s administration tools and hijack the accounts of several high-profile users including Joe Biden, Elon Musk and Bill Gates.

While Sethi reports to Nick Tornow, the company’s engineering platform leader, Zatko will report directly to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and will oversee a broad range of security functions, including “information security, site integrity, physical security, platform integrity — which starts to touch on abuse and manipulation of the platform — and engineering,” he told Reuters.

Until recently, Zatko headed up security at Stripe, an electronic payments company. He has also done work for Google and DARPA, the U.S. Department of Defense research agency. Zatko was also a member of a hacking group called Cult of the Dead Cow and L0pht Heavy Industries, a hacker collective that was a pioneer of responsible disclosure, a model for disclosure of security vulnerabilities that allows those issues to be patched before being made public.

Former Arizona Governor and DHS Secretary Joins Zoom Board

Janet Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona and U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013,


Janet Napolitano photo by Gage Skidmore
PHOTO: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0
joined the board of directors at Zoom on Nov. 2.

“Janet has extensive leadership experience in both education and government, two key segments of Zoom customers,” said Zoom CEO Eric Yuan in a press release statement. “She also has tremendous strength of character, which she demonstrated throughout her years in public service and academia, and is adept at decision-making and leading in complex organizations.”

After leaving government, Napolitano was president of the University of California system from 2013 until 2020, when she stepped down to become professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

San Jose, Calif.-based Zoom has undergone massive growth this year as the COVID-19 pandemic forced many governments, businesses and schools to move to a remote operating model. That growth came with increased regulatory attention, something the company likely hopes Napolitano will help address. In October, the company updated its meeting encryption to address security flaws.

Employee Experience Software Company Limeade Taps a New CTO

Employee experience software company Limeade named Larry Colagiovanni as its chief technology officer on Nov. 11.

Larry Colagiovanni chief technology officer Limeade
PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Limeade
The Bellevue, Wash.-based company’s software platform is used by companies to support employee well-being, engagement and inclusion. Colagiovanni joined Limeade in April 2020 as vice president of research and development and previously was head of marketing technology and general manager at eBay Seattle. As CTO, he will oversee product strategy and development for the company's employee experience platform and products.

Software platforms like Limeade have come to the forefront during the pandemic as employers look to engage and communicate with a distributed workforce. Limeade has honed in on workplace inclusion and employee well-being as further pillars of the employee experience. According to a survey released in October by the company, employee experience has suffered during the pandemic, with 72% of employees saying they're burned out, up from 42% before the pandemic. 

HR Reset Continues at McDonald’s With New Chief People Officer

It’s another week so that means another executive appointment in McDonald’s HR function. Tiffanie Boyd was named chief people officer on Nov. 16. She’ll begin the job on Jan. 4, 2021.

Boyd joins from General Mills, where she was vice president of human resources for the 11,000-person North American retail business, the company’s largest
Tiffanie Boyd chief people officer McDonald's
PHOTO: Courtesy Image, McDonald's
business segment.

Her appointment caps off a dramatic transformation of the Chicago fast food chain’s people operations. McDonald’s chief human resources officer Heidi Capozzi joined the company in April 2020 amidst the turmoil following the ouster of former CEO Steve Easterbrook last year and the departure of her predecessor, David Fairhurst.

Capozzi hired Boeing executive Bethany Tate Cornell as chief learning officer in October and tapped VF Corporation executive Reginald J. Miller for the role of vice president, global diversity, equity and inclusion officer on Nov. 2.

“McDonald’s has the ability to impact people, communities and the economy in such a meaningful way,” Boyd said, according to the fact sheet on her hire. “I’m also honored to join a strong team focused on elevating the people and culture agenda of an already great company.”

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