Twitter’s former CEO and other execs are suing Elon Musk and X for $128 million in unpaid severance

A group of former Twitter executives, including former CEO Parag Agrawal, are suing Elon Musk and X over millions of dollars in unpaid severance benefits. The claims date back to the chaotic circumstances surrounding Musk’s takeover of the company in October 2022.

When Musk took control of the company, his was to fire Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde and general counsel Sean Edgett. According to the lawsuit, Musk had “special ire” for the group because of the role they played in the months-long court battle that forced Musk to follow through with the acquisition after he attempted to back out of the deal. According to the lawsuit, Agrawal is entitled to $57.4 million in severance benefits, Segal is entitled to $44.5 million, Gadde $20 million and Edgett $6.8 million, for a total of about $128 million.

The lawsuit cites Musk biographer Walter Isaacson’s of the events, which explains that Musk rushed to close the Twitter deal a day early so he could fire the executives “for cause” just before their final stock options were set to vest. According to Isaacson, Musk bragged that the legal maneuver saved him about $200 million.

“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 lawsuit states,“Because Musk decided he didn’t want to pay Plaintiffs’ severance benefits, he simply fired them without reason, then made up fake cause and appointed employees of his various companies to uphold his decision.”

X didn’t respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit. Of note, it’s not the first time former Twitter employees have sued the company for failing to pay severance benefits. A separate lawsuit claimed Twitter owed former workers more than in unpaid severance. Agrawal, Segal and Gadde also the company over unpaid legal bills as a result of shareholder lawsuits and other investigations that resulted from Musk’s takeover,

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