Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to address a “false” report by The New York Times that he planned to lay off some Twitter employees before Nov. 1 to avoid payouts in their contracts.
The New York Times, citing “four people with knowledge of the matter” reported on Oct. 29 that billionaire Musk planned to start laying Twitter workers off as soon as Saturday ahead of Nov. 1, when employees were scheduled to receive stock grants as part of their compensation.
“Such grants typically represent a significant portion of employees’ pay. By laying off workers before that date, Mr. Musk may avoid paying the grants, though he is supposed to pay the employees cash in place of their stock under the terms of the merger agreement,” the publication wrote.
Eric Umansky, an editor at ProPublica, shared a screenshot of the report on Twitter on Oct. 30 alongside the caption: “What a guy…@elonmusk is making sure to fire people at Twitter before part of their year-end compensation *kicks in on Tuesday.*”
In response, Musk simply wrote, “This is false.”
Musk officially acquired the social media platform on Thursday following months of legal back-and-forth between himself and Twitter executives over his $44 billion acquisition.
The businessman marked the occasion by sharing a video of himself on Twitter walking into Twitter headquarters while carrying a sink, tweeting, “let that sink in.”
He has also changed his Twitter bio to read “Chief Twit,” with a location tag stating “Twitter HQ.”
According to a Reuters report, Musk also fired Twitter Chief Executive Officer, Parag Agrawal, and Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, as well as legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde after sealing the deal, having accused them of misleading him and Twitter investors over the number of automated bots on the platform.
The New York Times, citing anonymous sources, said that the top executives allegedly fired by Musk had been set to receive compensation of $20 million to $60 million if their positions were terminated but that they will no longer receive the payouts because Musk instead terminated them “for cause,” which the publication said meant that he “alleged he had justification, which may void that agreement.”
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