Sharing African Stories 26 May, 2024

The ex-CEO of Twitter files a lawsuit against Elon Musk.

Yet another legal battle involving Elon Musk unfolds. On Monday, four former Twitter executives, including former CEO Parag Agrawal, filed a lawsuit against Musk, claiming they are owed more than $128 million in severance payments.

Upon acquiring Twitter (now X), one of Musk's initial actions as the company's owner was to dismiss Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and lawyers Sean Edgett and Vijaya Gadde. The lawsuit alleges that Musk harbors a particular animosity towards these former executives, who diligently ensured Musk adhered to his $44 billion commitment when he attempted to withdraw. Citing Walter Isaacson's biography of Musk, the lawsuit quotes Musk expressing his determination to pursue every member of Twitter's C-suite "till the day they die."

Of the executives, Musk has notably targeted Gadde, who played a role in significant content moderation decisions on Twitter. Following his bid to acquire Twitter, Musk posted memes ridiculing Gadde, provoking a wave of racist online attacks against her.

The issue of severance pay isn't confined to these executives alone. Musk has encountered multiple lawsuits from former Twitter employees awaiting their dues. Under Musk's ownership, the company has ceased paying rent for some offices, resulting in additional legal disputes and evictions.

Despite Musk's claims of "gross negligence" and "willful misconduct" in termination letters to these executives, the lawsuit asserts he failed to provide evidence to support his allegations.

The lawsuit portrays Musk's approach as a pattern of withholding owed money and forcing individuals to litigate against him. "Even in defeat, Musk can impose delay, hassle, and expense on others less able to afford it," reads the lawsuit.