It was ‘controversial’ when the deal closed on Twitter

  • Walter Isaacson said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Elon Musk faced further lawsuits on Twitter.
  • The biographer said on the day the deal was struck, it was “quite controversial” at Twitter headquarters.
  • Isaacson followed Musk last week for his biography on the Tesla CEO.

Walter Isaacson, an author who has followed Elon Musk for a biography of the billionaire, said he could see Musk embroiled in further litigation over his purchase on Twitter.

“I think Musk has said in the past that whether it’s the bot issue or many other issues, he suspects he was misled,” Isaacson said in a Monday interview with CNBC Squawk Box. . “And so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were lawsuits involving everything from compensation to people who he says unlawfully withheld information from him.”

The biographer has been following Musk over the past week as the billionaire pursues his plan to buy Twitter.

On Sunday, Musk tweeted a screenshot of a May 17 post via Twitter’s internal Slack messages from Twitter security and integrity officer Yoel Roth.

“Wachtell and Twitter’s board deliberately withheld this evidence from the court,” Musk tweeted, referring to the social media company’s legal team. “Stay tuned, more to come…”

In his original countersuit against Twitter’s attempts to force him to buy the company, Musk argued that the social media company intentionally misled him about the number of fraudulent accounts on its site. At the time, experts said Musk’s case was weak because he had signed an ironclad deal to buy the company.

Isaacson said he was unsure of the “success” of the lawsuits and noted that Musk could also face litigation from executives whose severance packages might be “in jeopardy”.

Moments after taking over Twitter, Musk fired four senior company executives, including former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal. The former leaders were to receive golden parachutes worth $38.7 million and $25.4 million respectively. But The Information reported that Musk fired the executives “for cause” in a bid to avoid the payouts, citing a person familiar with the issue. The billionaire has since refuse the accusation.

Ultimately, the biographer said the scene was tense when Musk and his bankers sat down with Twitter executives to seal the deal Thursday night after months of litigation.

“They’re in a conference room on the second floor of Twitter headquarters, and the deal is supposed to be done, and it’s not, shall we say, the friendliest thing,” Isaacson said, recalling the event. “It’s not like Twitter executives are bringing bottles of champagne, and it got quite controversial over the course of the evening.”

A day earlier, Musk walked into Twitter headquarters in high spirits, carrying a sink and joking about the acquisition. But Insider’s Kali Hays reported that within hours of acquiring the company, the billionaire kicked off a weekend of coding sprints after asking team leaders to compile ranked lists of employees on the basis of performance evaluations.

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