Fired Twitter execs are suing Elon Musk for over $128 million

Elon Musk shrugging on a background with the Twitter logo

Elon Musk fired a lot of people after he took over Twitter, but the first ones to go were several of its top executives. Now former CEO Parag Agrawal, former CFO Ned Segal, former chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde, and former general counsel Sean Edgett are suing Musk and the company now known as X, saying they’re owed more than $128 million in severance payments, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Under Musk’s stewardship, X’s aversion to paying those it owes has practically become a trope (this is referenced in the lawsuit, along with a link to a page that tracks lawsuits against Twitter for non-payment and a note that the person who runs the site has been banned by X).

But this time, it’s the same execs who forced Musk to close his $44 billion acquisition in the first place, who are now claiming his goal was to “cheat” them out of $200 million before their stock options vested the next morning. They also have a remarkably thorough source to explain why he closed the deal and fired them when he did: Elon Musk himself, as quoted by Walter Isaacson in the biography released last year, Elon Musk.

“There’s a 200-million differential in the cookie jar between closing tonight and doing it tomorrow morning,” he told me late Thursday afternoon in the war room as the plan unfolded. 

Another passage cited from the book calls out a conversation between Musk and his lawyer, Alex Spiro. “[H]e tried to resign … but we beat him,” they said, specifically referring to Agrawal. By firing Agrawal before he was able to send a resignation letter, they apparently believed it would mean the company wouldn’t have to pay his severance package.

Despite claims made by Elon Musk’s X about negligence, waste, and misconduct, the lawsuit argues it was authorized by the company’s board and necessary to do things like pay $90 million to the lawyers who forced Elon Musk to pay $44 billion for Twitter.

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