Musk fired Twitter execs in attempt to avoid payouts, layoffs planned – reports

October 29 (Reuters) – Twitter (TWTR.N) new owner Elon Musk has laid off senior executives in a bid to avoid hefty severance packages, while lining up other layoffs as early as Saturday to avoid stock awards due Nov. 1, media reported Saturday.

Musk has fired Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and chief legal and policy officer Vijaya Gadde following a high-profile $44 billion takeover of the social media platform on Thursday, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

He had accused them of misleading him and Twitter investors about the number of fake accounts on the platform. According to research firm Equilar, the executives were to receive severance packages totaling some $122 million.

Citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, The Information reported that Elon Musk fired four senior Twitter executives, including Agrawal and Segal “for cause,” in an apparent effort to avoid severance pay and unvested stock awards.

In a Tweeter On Saturday, LightShed analyst Rich Greenfield said Musk fired top Twitter executives “for cause,” preventing their unearned shares from being acquired in a change of control.

Twitter did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Reuters was unable to contact the fired executives immediately.

Research director at Equilar Courtney Yu told Reuters on Friday that fired Twitter executives “should receive these severance packages unless Elon Musk has cause for termination, the reason in these cases generally being that they broke the law or violated company policy.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported on Saturday that Musk ordered job cuts across the company, with some teams to be cut more than others and layoffs would take place before the Nov. 1 date when employees were due to receive stock awards as part of their compensation.

Citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, the Times reported that the cuts could begin as early as Saturday.

Reporting by Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard and Kenneth Maxwell

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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