Tina Hwang, slated to be co-leader of Twitter Inc.'s law department until Elon Musk bought the social media company, has taken a job as vice president of legal and chief privacy officer at Ancestry.com LLC.
Hwang succeeds Eric Heath, an attorney who left Ancestry last year to take the top the privacy job at Placer Labs Inc., a real estate data and analytics startup.
She started March 13 and reports to general counsel Gregory Packer, said Katherine Wylie, a spokeswoman for Ancestry.com.
Tina Hwang was part of a legal leadership succession plan that Twitter’s then general counsel, Sean Edgett, put in place before Musk fired him upon taking control of the company last October. Twitter then scrapped the plan, and Hwang, a deputy general counsel for product and intellectual property, joined a slew of legal leaders in leaving the San Francisco-based company.
Within the past few weeks, many of those former Twitter lawyers have started to secure new jobs at other technology companies and law firms.
Hwang, before joining Twitter in mid-2021, spent more than four years as an associate general counsel leading the product legal team at Meta Platforms Inc.’s WhatsApp. She also worked almost a decade at Alphabet Inc.’s Google, where she led another product team handling e-commerce products.
At Ancestry.com, Hwang joins a team of roughly a half-dozen lawyers led by Packer, who was initially hired as vice president of legal in 2020.
Packer, a former legal chief at oil and gas company Lonestar Resources US Inc., was promoted to general counsel and corporate secretary in 2021.
Hwang’s new employer has faced challenges related to privacy rights and data management practices. Bloomberg Businessweek revealed in a 2018 investigation that law enforcement used DNA obtained from tests administered by affiliates of Ancestry.com and its competitors to solve cold cases.
The Lehi, Utah-based genealogy and technology company was sold for $4.7 billion in 2020 to Blackstone Inc.
23andMe Inc., a South San Francisco, Calif.-based rival to Ancestry.com, went public in 2021. Last year its longtime chief legal and regulatory officer, Kathy Hibbs, took over the role of chief administrative officer. Jacqueline Cooke, a deputy general counsel at 23andMe, is now general counsel and privacy officer for the company, which has battled Ancestry.com over trademarks.
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