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Twitter’s Ex-CEO and Other Executives Sue Elon Musk and X Over $128 Million Unpaid Severance

The four executives said that they were fired "without reason," and that they "made up fake causes" to avoid paying them.
Cover Image Source: (L) Elon Musk | Getty Images | Slaven Vlasic | (R) Parag Agrawal | Getty Images | Kevin Dietsch (Edited on Canva)
Cover Image Source: (L) Elon Musk | Getty Images | Slaven Vlasic | (R) Parag Agrawal | Getty Images | Kevin Dietsch (Edited on Canva)

Elon Musk is once again making headlines for legal battles, this time with the former ex-executives of Twitter, the company he famously acquired back in October of 2022 for $44 billion. Musk is now facing a lawsuit from Twitter's former executives, including former CEO Parag Agrawal. The former top brass which included former CEO Parag Agrawal is suing Musk and the platform— which has been rebranded as X—over $128 million unpaid severance, per Reuters.

X CEO Elon Musk | Leon Neal | Getty Images
X CEO Elon Musk | Leon Neal | Getty Images

The four executives CEO Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, Chief Legal Counsel Vijaya Gadde, and General Counsel Sean Edgett said that after Musk took over the platform, they were fired "without reason," and that they "made up fake causes" to avoid paying them. They also accused him of orchestrating a plan to avoid paying the former executives what they were due. The lawsuit talks about how Musk went out of his way to ensure that nobody could resign before they were fired.

The suit said that the former executives "appropriately and vigorously represented the interests of Twitter's public shareholders throughout Musk's wrongful attempt to renege on the deal." The executives mention that all of them owned one year's salary as well as stock awards under a years-old severance plan. This accounts for more than $57 million for Mr. Agrawal, more than $44 million for Mr. Segal, over $20 million for Ms. Gadde, and north of $6 million for Mr. Edgett.

The lawsuit also says that they were let go on the grounds of "gross negligence and willful misconduct" and that thousands of employees were also fired in the wake of the acquisition. It further mentions that Musk did not like the fact that Twitter paid fees to outside lawyers for their work nearing the acquisitions. The executives said that they were required to pay the fees to comply with their fiduciary duties. It was also brought to light that Twitter is currently facing a "staggering" number of lawsuits, mostly over unpaid bills. 


"If Musk felt that the attorneys' fees payments, or any other payments, were improper, his remedy was to seek to terminate the deal — not to withhold executives' severance payments after the deal closed," the lawsuit says. "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," it continues.

"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," the suit says. "Under Musk's control, Twitter has become a scofflaw, stiffing employees, landlords, vendors, and others," the lawsuit which was filed in federal court in the Northern District of California read.


There have been no comments from Elon Musk or his representatives on the matter. As of 2024, Musk owns about 79% of Twitter, which is valued at about $20 billion. Elon Musk acquired Twitter after he first made an unsolicited offer to buy the social media platform for $43 billion, and ultimately bought it for $44 billion in October of 2022. In other news, Tesla was recently called out by a bakery owner for canceling a pie order worth thousands at the last minute, for which he was later compensated. Elon Musk is the CEO and also the largest shareholder of Tesla, with nearly 23% of all shares.