Ex-Twitter Executives Sue Elon Musk for $128M in Severance

Society | Author: Diana Kavardzhikova |March 5, 2024, Tuesday // 16:00
Bulgaria: Ex-Twitter Executives Sue Elon Musk for $128M in Severance Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk, after acquiring Twitter for USD44 billion in 2022, dismissed several top executives, including Parag Agrawal, Ned Segal, Vijaya Gadde, and Sean Edgett. Subsequently, Agrawal and other former executives have filed a lawsuit against Musk, alleging that he withheld USD 128 million in severance payments. Musk later renamed Twitter as X. This information comes from a report by The New York Times.

Former Twitter executives filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday, claiming entitlement to severance payments as outlined in their contracts, which stipulated such compensation if Twitter was privatized by Elon Musk in October 2022.

As per The New York Times, Parag Agrawal's offer letter stated a yearly salary of USD1 million alongside USD12.5 million in shares. According to a Twitter securities filing, Agrawal was eligible for a "golden parachute" payment of USD60 million in the event of involuntary termination. Similarly, Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde were noted to be entitled to USD46 million and USD21 million respectively under the same conditions, as detailed in the document.

Musk asserted that he could dismiss the executives "for cause" during the takeover to circumvent paying them severance. To avoid approximately USD200 million in payments, Musk told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he would decline the executives' severance benefits. According to The New York Times, he pledged to "pursue" the executives "until their last breath" in front of Isaacson.

According to court documents cited by The New York Times, the executives' lawyers accused Musk of following a consistent strategy: withholding owed funds and compelling individuals to take legal action against him. They further stated that even in instances where Musk faces defeat, he can still inflict inconvenience, delays, and financial burdens on those who may be less equipped to handle them.

The executives had previously taken legal action against Musk to recoup the legal fees they had accrued while addressing company investigations. In October, a judge in Delaware ruled that Musk must pay them 1.1 million US dollars to compensate for those costs.

Following the completion of the USD44 billion acquisition deal, Elon Musk swiftly initiated reforms to the micro-blogging platform, wasting no time in reshaping it by terminating employees, as reported earlier by The Hill. Among the initial changes, Musk ousted the top executives of the company, including Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and finance chief Ned Segal, who vacated the company's San Francisco headquarters.

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Tags: executives, Musk, lawsuit, acquisition

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