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4 Mar, 2024 22:24

Elon Musk sued by former Twitter executives

The plaintiffs claim that they are owed a combined $128 million in severance
Elon Musk sued by former Twitter executives

Former Twitter executives who lost their jobs after Elon Musk bought the social media platform have sued the billionaire technology magnate, claiming he owes them $128 million in unpaid severance.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday in US District Court in San Francisco on behalf of ex-CEO Parag Agrawal and three other senior executives, claiming that Musk refused to honor his contractual obligations to employees who were ousted after he bought Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022. He later renamed the platform X.

“This is the Musk playbook: to keep the money he owes other people and force them to sue him,” lawyers for the former executives said in the lawsuit. “Even in defeat, Musk can impose delay, hassle and expense on others less able to afford it.”

Agrawal had total compensation valued at more than $30 million in 2021, his last full year at Twitter. Musk claimed in termination letters that the executives were being fired for gross negligence and willful misconduct; therefore, he would not have to pay them severance, according to the lawsuit.

The new Twitter owner never provided specific allegations to back up those claims, and his employees prolonged the appeal process by trying for a year to “come up with facts to support his pre-ordained conclusion, to no avail,” the plaintiffs claimed. The lawsuit added that Musk vowed to take revenge on the Twitter executives after they blocked his effort to back out of the takeover deal.

Musk, who has a net worth estimated by Forbes magazine at more than $200 billion, faces another lawsuit concerning $500 million in severance claims by former Twitter managers and engineers, as well as multiple cases alleging non-payment of obligations to landlords and vendors. “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,” lawyers for the fired executives argued.