Elon Musk Drubbed With $128M Severance Pay Suit By Ex-Twitter CEO & Other Execs

Elon Musk Drubbed With $128M Severance Pay Suit By Ex-Twitter CEO & Other Execs

It’s a Hell of a lot more than 140 characters, but the severance and benefits lawsuit against Elon Musk and X Corp from a quartet of ex-Twitter executives sends a very clear message.

Hand over the money you owe us!

That’s a message to the total tune of $128 million claim former CEO, Parag Agrawal, ex-CFO Ned Segal, former CLO Vijaya Gadde, and ex General Counsel Sean Edgett in a complaint filed in federal court in northern California today.  

“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 somewhat redacted six-claim filing notes.

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Read the complaint from Twitter’s former CEO, chief financial officer, chief legal officer and general counsel against Elon Musk here.

Referring to the “staggering number of lawsuits from its vendors and service providers across a range of industries” and mounting legal actions from “thousands of non-executive former employees” against Musk and the social media platform formerly known as Twitter since the erratic billionaire bought the company under duress for $44 billion in 2022, the four executives go on to take a stab at Musk’s MO when it comes to ex-employees and others. “This is the Musk playbook: to keep the money he owes other people, and force them to sue him,” they insist. “Even in defeat, Musk can impose delay, hassle, and expense on others less able to afford it.”

To that end, represented by the San Francisco and Chicago offices of Sidley Austin, the once powerful tech lords are using the often sued and often litigious Musk’s own words 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,’” says the 38-page complaint. “These statements were not the mere rantings of a self-centered billionaire surrounded by enablers unwilling to confront him with the legal consequences of his own choices. Musk bragged to Isaacson specifically how he planned to cheat Twitter’s executives out of their severance benefits in order to save himself $200 million.”

The needles in the haystack here is that Agrawal, Segal, Gadde, and Edgett all had “good reason” clauses in their respective contracts that assured them of a full payout in the event of a circumstance like Twitter ceasing to be “a publicly traded entity”- as occurred with Twitter in October 20222. Those clauses seem to have been overlooked by Musk and his minions when they showed Agrawal (who alone stood to receive a $60 million golden handshake), Segal, Gadde, and Edgett the door.

Having spent the day expressing dismay over immigration stats and joy over the latest Space X launch, Musk had nothing to say about Mondays’ suit. Reps for X did not respond to request from Deadline for comment on the move by ex-CEO Agrawal, ex-CFO Segal, ex-legal/policy chief Gadde, and ex-general counsel Edgett.

If and when Musk or X do have something to say about today’s complaint, this post will be updated.