“This Is False”: Musk Denies NYT Report Over Snap-Layoffs To Avoid Paying Stock Grants

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Elon Musk says that a claim by the NY Times that he plans to fire Twitter employees before Nov. 1 to avoid paying stock grants is “false.”

On Oct. 29, the Times – citing “four people with knowledge of the matter” – reported that Musk had planned to start laying people off as soon as Saturday, depriving them of scheduled stock grants.

“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,” wrote the Times.

Breathlessly believing the Times was ProPublica deputy managing editor Eric Umansky, who tweeted “@elonmusk is making sure to fire people at Twitter before part of their year-end compensation *kicks in on Tuesday.*

To which Musk replied: “This is false.

That said, the Times also reported that top executives may not receive golden parachutes.

Mr. Musk also appears unlikely to pay the golden parachutes that the fired top executives of Twitter were set to receive. Under the merger agreement, those executives — including Parag Agrawal, the chief executive — 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. –NYT

And on Sunday, Musk tweeted what he claims is evidence which was ‘hidden from the court’ – which appears to be a conversation about “fraudulent metrics.”

As the Epoch Times further notes;

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.”

The Epoch Times has contacted Twitter for comment.

Musk has stressed that he believes Twitter, which has repeatedly come under fire for censoring some minority and politically conservative viewpoints, should be a platform that allows a wide range of beliefs to be debated in a healthy manner.

On Friday, the billionaire businessman revealed plans to lift bans on accounts that were suspended for “minor and dubious reasons” but did not say when exactly the accounts would be reinstated.