Former Twitter CEO and other executives file $128M severance pay lawsuit against Elon Musk

The lawsuit filed by four former Twitter executives against Elon Musk and X Corp goes beyond the limitations of a mere 140 characters. It serves as a powerful statement regarding severance and benefits.

Turn over the money you owe us.

According to a complaint that former CEO Parag Agrawal, ex-CFO Ned Segal, former CLO Vijaya Gadde, and ex-General Counsel Sean Edgett filed today in federal court in northern California, that message is worth $128 million.

“Because Musk decided he didn’t want to pay Plaintiffs’ severance benefits, he simply fired them without reason, then made up a fake cause and appointed employees of his various companies to uphold his decision,” the notes from the six-claim file, which have been redacted,.

According to the four executives, there have been a significant number of lawsuits filed by vendors and service providers from various industries, as well as legal actions from thousands of former non-executive employees against Elon Musk and the social media platform previously known as Twitter. They claim that since Musk acquired the company under pressure for $44 billion in 2022, his approach towards ex-employees and others follows a predictable pattern. They argue that Musk’s playbook involves withholding the money he owes to others and forcing them to take legal action. Even in cases where he is defeated, Musk can still cause delays, inconvenience, and financial burden to those who are less capable of handling it.

To that end, the former tech titans, represented by Sidley Austin’s San Francisco and Chicago offices, are leveraging Musk’s own comments against him.

“Musk told his official biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he would ‘hunt every single one of’ Twitter’s executives and directors ’till the day they die,'” according to the complaint, which is 38 pages long. These statements weren’t just the rantings of a self-centered billionaire who had enablers around him who wouldn’t hold him accountable for his own actions. Musk boasted to Isaacson about how he planned to defraud Twitter executives of their severance payments in order to save himself $200 million.”

The needles in the haystack here are that Agrawal, Segal, Gadde, and Edgett all had “good reason” clauses in their respective contracts that guaranteed them full compensation in the event of a condition such as Twitter ceasing to be “a publicly traded entity, which happened with Twitter in October 2022. Musk and his henchmen appear to have missed such terms when they showed Agrawal (the only one who stood to receive a $60 million golden handshake), Segal, Gadde, and Edgett the door.

Musk had little to say about Monday’s suit after spending the day expressly dissatisfied with immigration statistics and delighted with the latest SpaceX mission. Reps for X did not react to Deadline’s request for comment on the departure of ex-CEO Agrawal, ex-CFO Segal, ex-legal/policy chief Gadde, and ex-general counsel Edgett.

If and when Musk or X respond to today’s complaint, this piece will be updated.

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