Three top executives of Twitter fired by new owner Elon Musk stand to receive separation payouts totaling some $122 million (nearly Rs. 1,000 crore), research firm Equilar said on Friday.
Musk fired Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde, according to people familiar with the matter. He had accused them of misleading him and Twitter investors over the number of fake accounts on the platform.
In an email to Reuters, Equilar, known for its research on executive compensation, valued Agrawal’s so-called “golden parachute” at $57.4 million (nearly Rs. 470 crore), while Segal’s was $44.5 million (nearly Rs. 370 crore) and Gadde’s was $20 million (nearly Rs. 160 crore).
Twitter representatives did not immediately respond to questions.
Agrawal, previously Twitter’s chief technology officer, was named CEO last November. His total compensation for 2021 was $30.4 million (nearly Rs. 250 crore), according to a Twitter securities filing, largely in stock awards.
Major payouts to executives tied to changes in control of a company are common to smooth ownership transitions but can be controversial.
Twitter’s filing states that “In the case of a Change of Control event, we believe that these arrangements assist to maximize stockholder value and maintain executive focus in the immediate period prior to, during and after the Change of Control event.”
Payouts would include 100 percent of an executive’s annual base salary, healthcare premiums, and accelerated vesting of equity awards, the filing states.
Equilar director of research Courtney Yu said the fired Twitter executives “should be getting these payments unless Elon Musk had cause for termination, with cause in these cases usually being that they broke the law or violated company policy.”
Agrawal and Segal were in Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the deal closed and were escorted out, the sources added.
Meanwhile, Musk has indicated he sees Twitter as a foundation for creating a “super app” that offers everything from money transfers to shopping and ride-hailing.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
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