Three top executives who were fired by Elon Musk when he took over Twitter last year have filed a lawsuit seeking reimbursement for the costs of litigation, investigations and congressional inquiries related to their former jobs. Ex-chief executive officer (CEO) Parag Agrawal and the company's former chief legal and financial officers claim that they are owed more than $1 million in total and that Twitter is legally obliged to pay them.
Twitter responded to an AFP request for comment with a poop emoji, as has become its practice.
The court filing detailed various expenses linked to inquiries by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), but did not specify the nature of the investigations or whether they are still ongoing.
Agrawal and then-chief financial officer (CFO) Ned Segal provided testimony to the SEC last year and "have continued to engage with federal authorities," according to court documents. The SEC is investigating whether Musk followed securities regulations when he amassed Twitter shares.
Vijaya Gadde, the former chief legal officer at Twitter, was summoned to testify at a US congressional hearing on big tech and free speech after Musk released the so-called "Twitter Files" relating to the site's content moderation late last year. Gadde was also named as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by a man who claimed he was "doxed" at Twitter as a white supremacist, according to the filing.
Agrawal, Gadde, and Segal were dismissed by Musk in late October after he closed his controversial $44 billion takeover of Twitter. The three former executives argue that Twitter is obligated to reimburse them under agreements, but has done nothing more than acknowledge receiving their invoices.
After taking over Twitter, Musk quickly reduced the number of employees, with the cuts so extensive that they raised concerns about the platform's stability and its ability to combat misinformation and other abuses. Complaints have also been made accusing Twitter of not paying rent or other bills as Musk pursues a vow to "cut costs like crazy." Market trackers, meanwhile, claim that advertising revenue at Twitter has plummeted due to worries about misinformation and hateful content flourishing as Musk reduces moderation efforts.