Parag Agrawal Twitter Exit USD $42 Million Twitter CEO Severance Package Elon Musk Twitter Take Over

Parag Agrawal Twitter Exit USD $42 Million Twitter CEO Severance Package Elon Musk Twitter Take Over

As part of his first moves after taking over Twitter, new owner Elon Musk has fired the top leadership, including its Indian-origin CEO Parag Agrawal; Twitter’s head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde; and chief financial officer Ned Segal. Also leaving is Sean Edgett, a general counsel at Twitter since 2012, Bloomberg reported, quoting anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The information isn’t public yet, as Twitter is yet to come out with a statement. Elon Musk, however, declared his ownership of the microblogging site with a tweet that read, “The bird is freed”, referring to Twitter’s bird logo.

According to US media reports, Musk closed the $44-billion Twitter takeover deal on Thursday.

Parag Agrawal’s Severance Pay

In April this year, immediately after Musk first spoke about his desire to buy Twitter and said he wanted to see fewer limits on content that can be posted on the platform, there was a buzz that Agrawal might have to go. Research firm Equilar had then calculated how much he would get as severance pay if his services were terminated. According to the firm, Agrawal would get around $42 million (Rs 3,457,145,328 according to current exchange rates) if he were fired within 12 months of a change in control at the company, news agency Reuters reported in April.

Equilar arrived at the estimate after including “a year’s worth of Agrawal’s base salary plus accelerated vesting of all equity awards”, the report said, quoting a spokesperson of the firm. The estimate was based on the $54.20 per share offering price by Musk’s and terms in Twitter’s recent proxy statement.

According to a filing, Agrawal will vest 100% of his equity awards as part of the takeover deal, said the Bloomberg report cited above.

Agrawal, who was earlier the chief technology officer at Twitter, was appointed to the post of CEO by co-founder Jack Dorsey in November 2021. His total compensation for that year was $30.4 million, which was largely in stock awards, according to the Reuters report.

Agrawal, an alumnus of IIT Bombay and Stanford University, had joined Twitter more than a decade ago, soon after the company was formed.

Agrawal Exit Was Matter Of Time? 

Agrawal’s stint as CEO ran into rough weather soon after Musk made public his intent to buy the company. “I don’t have confidence in management,” the billionaire said in a securities filing on April 14.

It was hence clear from the beginning that Agrawal could be asked to go. Musk and Agrawal even exchanged some public swipes on the social media platform. In May, replying to a thread posted by Agrawal as he sought to defend the company’s user metrics, Musk replied with a poop emoji.

And after Musk posted a tweet asking his followers if Twitter was “dying”, the two reportedly had a contentious exchange, according to a few text messages — supposedly internal communication between officials of the company and Musk — that surfaced over time. 

“You are free to tweet ‘is Twitter dying?’ or anything else about Twitter – but it’s my responsibility to tell you that it’s not helping me make Twitter better in the current context,” Agrawal reportedly wrote on April 9.

Musk replied: “What did you get done this week?” And added: “I’m not joining the board. This is a waste of time.”

Dorsey had tried to reconcile his longtime friend Musk and Agrawal, but that too did not end well. “At least it became clear that you can’t work together. That was clarifying,” he reportedly texted Musk after a group call between the three of them.

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