Elon Musk Reportedly Fired Twitter Employees Quickly to Avoid Payouts


With four top executives of Twitter being terminated right after Elon Musk completed the acquisition deal, employees at the social media company are, well, twittering and uneasy about their future job prospects.

Previous reports have also indicated that Musk had told prospective investors that he would be getting rid of nearly 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees.

Whether this will come to pass is up in the air.

On one hand, he allegedly spoke to the employees on Wednesday (19 Oct), stating that he will not be retrenching them, after he carried a kitchen sink into the San Francisco headquarters as a joke to let his new ownership over Twitter “sink in”.

On the other, The New York Times (NYT) reported that he has asked managers to come up with lists of employees to let go.

The same sources have also said that some departments at Twitter will be affected more than others once the purported job cuts happen.

Lay-offs Before 1 Nov?

1 November happens to be a special day for Twitter employees as it is the day they receive their stock grant, which “typically represent a significant portion” of their pay.

Think of it like our thirteenth month bonus salary.

According to NYT, it is rumoured that Musk intends to lay off employees before 1 Nov, so he can avoid making those payouts.

Twitter has not officially replied to any of the media’s requests for comments.

However, Musk did respond to a Tweet that quoted the NYT article, writing, “This is false.”

The Fired Executives

Although Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde have been terminated from their positions, they are not leaving empty-handed.

With Twitter standing at US$54.20 per share as of the completion of the acquisition deal, these executives stand to gain a lot of money once they sell it.

For instance, Agrawal is likely to walk away with $57.4 million, including $56.4 million in equity that is dependent on an accelerated schedule.

CFO Segal’s termination package is likely to total $44.5 million, including $43.8 million in accelerated equity.


Separately, Agrawal will also receive $1 million in cash, while Segal and Gadde will receive $600,000, thus reflecting their yearly security. Additionally, they will have 12 months of health coverage.

However, some sources have revealed that the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has fired the top Twitter executives “for cause”, in an attempt to avoid severance pay and unvested stock rewards.

Regardless of whether it is a genuine attempt, the executives should be getting the dues owed to them, unless Elon Musk has a real cause for termination, with the causes being a violation of the law or company policy.

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