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Elon Musk Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged Failure to Pay Severance to Former Twitter Executives

  • Four former Twitter executives sue Elon Musk for ZAR 2.4 billion in unpaid severance, alleging contractual breaches.
  • Musk accused of harboring animosity towards executives and failing to provide evidence for allegations of misconduct.
  • Lawsuit highlights broader pattern of withholding funds and legal disputes under Musk's ownership of Twitter.

In a recent legal development, four former executives of Twitter, including ex-CEO Parag Agrawal, have filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk, the owner of the social media platform, alleging unpaid severance totaling over ZAR 2.4 billion. The lawsuit, filed on Monday, accuses Musk of failing to honour contractual obligations following the termination of their employment upon his acquisition of Twitter, now known as X.

Allegations of Animosity and Unpaid Severance

Musk’s acquisition of Twitter saw the immediate dismissal of Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and lawyers Sean Edgett and Vijaya Gadde. According to the lawsuit, Musk harboured a vendetta against these executives due to their efforts in ensuring he adhered to a ZAR 836 billion commitment during the acquisition process. Citing passages from Walter Isaacson’s biography of Musk, the lawsuit alleges that Musk expressed a desire to harm the former executives, stating he would “hunt every single one” of Twitter’s C-suite “till the day they die.”

Musk’s Criticism and Online Harassment

Particularly targeted in Musk’s criticism was Vijaya Gadde, who was involved in significant content moderation decisions on Twitter. Musk’s public mockery of Gadde, including posting memes, sparked racist online attacks against her. The lawsuit underscores Musk’s role in perpetuating a hostile environment for the executives, contributing to their legal action.

Pattern of Withholding Funds

The lawsuit also reveals a broader pattern of Musk withholding severance payments, extending beyond the four executives involved in the current litigation. Former Twitter employees have similarly faced challenges in receiving their owed severance under Musk’s ownership. Additionally, Musk’s failure to pay rent for some of Twitter’s offices has resulted in further legal disputes and evictions.

Lack of Evidence for Allegations

Despite Musk’s claims of “gross negligence” and “willful misconduct” against the terminated executives, the lawsuit contends that he has not provided evidence to substantiate these allegations. Instead, Musk’s actions are portrayed as a deliberate strategy to evade financial obligations and impose hardship on those seeking rightful compensation.

Conclusion: Musk’s Legal Battles Continue

The lawsuit against Elon Musk highlights ongoing legal challenges stemming from his ownership of Twitter, with allegations of unpaid severance and misconduct. As Musk navigates these legal battles, the outcome remains uncertain, but the case underscores broader concerns regarding corporate governance and accountability under his leadership.

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