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Former Twitter General Manager Nick Caldwell files a lawsuit against Elon Musk and X for not paying his severance.

Former Twitter executive Nick Caldwell has recently filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk and X, alleging a breach of contract and failure to pay severance and benefits after resigning from the company in 2022. In the lawsuit filed in a California federal court, attorneys for Caldwell claimed that following Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, the company cheated Caldwell and other executives out of a combined $200 million in severance benefits by falsely accusing them of misconduct and firing them for ‘Cause’. This lawsuit mirrors another filed by former Twitter executives, including ex-CEO Parag Agrawal, who claim they are owed $128 million in unpaid severance.

Caldwell, who currently serves as the chief product officer for Peloton and sits on the board of several other tech ventures, previously managed a team of hundreds of engineers at Twitter as the general manager of the Red Bird organization. The lawsuit details how Caldwell worked to retain key talent at Twitter until the completion of the acquisition, and subsequently submitted his resignation letter on Oct. 28, 2022, citing “good reason” for his departure. Interestingly, just two days earlier, Musk tweeted a video of his entrance into Twitter’s headquarters, further adding to the timeline of events leading to Caldwell’s resignation and subsequent legal action.

Following Caldwell’s resignation, Twitter informed him that his last day of employment would be Nov. 27, a month after submitting his letter. The company immediately cut off his access to internal systems and ceased communication with him. By Nov. 27, Twitter alleged that Caldwell was terminated for cause without valid grounds. The lawsuit highlights that Musk falsely accused Caldwell of misconduct to avoid paying him severance benefits owed to him by Twitter.

The legal action also includes claims against individuals from Musk’s other companies, SpaceX and Tesla, who allegedly worked to deny severance claims filed by Caldwell and other executives. The suit specifically names individuals such as Brian Bjelde and Lindsay Chapman from SpaceX and Dhruv Batura from Tesla as defendants alongside Musk. Caldwell’s attorneys assert that he is owed approximately $19.3 million in severance benefits plus interest, as well as around half a million dollars representing the value of restricted stock units he should have received in November 2022, plus interest and attorneys’ fees.

Both Musk and X have not yet responded to requests for comment regarding the lawsuit. Although Caldwell’s attorneys have refrained from commenting and directed inquiries to the filing, it is evident that the legal battle between the former Twitter executive and Musk is set to unfold in the coming days. The complexity of the case, involving substantial financial claims and allegations of misconduct, adds a layer of intrigue to this high-profile dispute.

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