As if getting fired from your job isn’t distressing enough, it’s got to hurt a whole lot more when you miss out on $122 million in payouts.
Reuters reported that Elon Musk recently fired Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. According to research firm Equilar, these folks were set to receive “golden parachute” payout packages worth up to $122 million in severance and unvested stock options.
But according to the New York Times, “Mr. Musk… appears unlikely to pay the golden parachutes that the fired top executives of Twitter were set to receive. Under the merger agreement, those executives… had been set to receive compensation of $20 million to $60 million if they were fired. But Mr. Musk terminated the executives ‘for cause,’ meaning he did it because he alleged he had justification, which may void that agreement, two people with knowledge of the matter said.”
It wouldn’t surprise Cockburn if Musk terminated the bigwigs without their golden parachutes. Musk has taken issue on several occasions with the old guard’s management of Twitter. Cockburn fondly remembers the day when, after a public spat with Agrawal over the CEO’s claim that fewer than 5 percent of Twitter accounts are bots, “Musk responded with a poop emoji.”
Musk has also condemned Twitter’s habitual censorship and once declared in a tweet, “Twitter obv has a strong left wing bias.”
As for the golden parachute rumor, Cockburn is still skeptical, especially considering the story’s source. When the New York Times printed a report that Musk was timing massive layoffs so that employees would not receive their stock grants, Musk simply responded with a tweet that said, “This is false.”
Cockburn isn’t sure what to make of this Musk fellow, other than he appears to be something of a wild card with right-thinking inclinations. Whatever Musk does or doesn’t do to his current and former employees is his business. Cockburn only hopes he follows through on his April 2022 tweet:
Let’s make Twitter maximum fun!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 28, 2022