Former Twitter Execs File Lawsuit Against Musk and X for $128 Million in Severance
Former Twitter Execs File Lawsuit Against Musk and X for $128 Million in Severance

By Stephen Katte

A group of former Twitter senior executives have filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk and X Corp, formerly Twitter, demanding more than $128 million in alleged unpaid severance payments.

In the March 4 legal complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, lawyers for Twitter’s former CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, chief legal counsel Vijaya Gadde and general counsel Sean Edgett claim their clients were fired in 2022 soon after the takeover was complete.

In the court docs it’s alleged Mr. Musk fired the executives for “gross negligence and willful misconduct,” however, the plaintiffs refute this, arguing no proof of the allegations was provided before they lost their jobs.

“He claimed in his termination letters that each Plaintiff committed ‘gross negligence’ and ‘willful misconduct’ without citing a single fact in support of this claim,” the complaint says.

“Musk’s refusal to pay Plaintiffs their benefits is part of a larger pattern of refusing to pay Twitter’s former employees the benefits and other compensation they are due.”

The plaintiff’s lawyers claim their clients are owed a year’s salary and stock options under a years-old severance plan. In total, it’s alleged, this would equal over $57 million for Mr. Agrawal, $44 million for Mr. Segal, around $20 million for Ms. Gadde, and more than $6 million for Mr. Edgett.

According to the court documents, the ex-Twitter executives’ lawyers argue that comments Mr. Musk made to his official biographer, Walter Isaacson, that “he would ‘hunt every single one of’ Twitter’s executives and directors’ till the day they die,” is proof of his intent to withhold their pay.

“These statements were not the mere rantings of a self-centered billionaire surrounded by enablers unwilling to confront him with the legal consequences of his own choices,” the court documents said.

“Musk bragged to Isaacson specifically how he planned to cheat Twitter’s executives out of their severance benefits in order to save himself $200 million.”

Mr. Musk previously attempted to back out of the deal to buy Twitter, accusing the company of making “false and misleading representations” regarding the number of spam and fake accounts. The company filed a lawsuit against Mr. Musk shortly after to force him to complete the deal. He eventually completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October of 2022.

In an SEC filing dated Oct. 27, the “consummation” of the takeover of Twitter came with the dissolution of the social media platform’s board members as well, including Bret Taylor, Parag Agrawal, Omid Kordestani, David Rosenblatt, Martha Lane Fox, Patrick Pichette, Egon Durban, Fei-Fei Li, and Mimi Alemayehou.

It’s being alleged in the complaint that Mr. Musk was taking “revenge against these executives” and trying to recover some of his expenses by “repeatedly refusing to honor other clear contractual commitments.”

“Under Musk’s control, Twitter has become a scofflaw, stiffing employees, landlords, vendors, and others,” the legal complaint said.

“Musk doesn’t pay his bills, believes the rules don’t apply to him, and uses his wealth and power to run roughshod over anyone who disagrees with him.”

The Epoch Times has contacted X Corp for comment on the legal complaint.

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