Elon Musk, X Sued by Former Twitter Exec Nick Caldwell Over Alleged Breach of Contract, Unpaid Severance

By Leira Aquino

Apr 03, 2024 11:37 PM EDT

Nick Caldwell, an ex- Twitter exec, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Elon Musk and X, alleging unpaid severance amounting to 19.3 million.
(Photo : Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Twitter executive Nick Caldwell has filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Elon Musk and X, alleging breach of contract and unpaid severance totaling millions of dollars. 

Caldwell, who led the Red Bird core tech team of engineers at Twitter, resigned on October 28, 2022, just after Musk's acquisition of the social media platform.

Lawsuit Alleges Withholding of Caldwell's Severance Benefits Following Musk's Twitter Acquisition

In the lawsuit filed in a California federal court, Caldwell's attorneys asserted that after Musk's acquisition of Twitter, the company withheld severance benefits from Caldwell and other executives while falsely accusing them of misconduct. 

The news was first reported by CNBC.

The complaint stated that this action resulted in a combined $200 million in unpaid severance benefits.

This legal action mirrors a similar lawsuit filed last month by former Twitter executives, including ex-CEO Parag Agrawal, who claim they are owed $128 million in unpaid severance.

The lawsuit contends that Caldwell's resignation triggered Twitter's "Change of Control and Involuntary Termination Protection Policy," entitling him to severance benefits. 

Twitter allegedly terminated Caldwell for cause on November 27, cutting off his access to internal systems immediately after his resignation.

Caldwell's attorneys argue that Musk falsely accused Caldwell of misconduct to avoid paying severance benefits. 

READ NEXT: Elon Musk Sued by Former Twitter Executives for Making up 'Fake Cause' to Fire Them to Avoid Paying Over $128 Million

Caldwell Seeks $19.3M in Severance

The lawsuit also implicates individuals from Musk's other companies, SpaceX and Tesla, including Brian Bjelde, Lindsay Chapman, and Dhruv Batura, who are named as defendants.

According to the filing, Caldwell is owed approximately $19.3 million in severance benefits plus interest, along with around half a million dollars representing the value of restricted stock units.

Before he served as Twitter's vice president of engineering and general manager for nearly two years, Caldwell held significant leadership roles at Microsoft, Reddit, and Google. 

In 2020, he departed from Google to join Twitter.

In September of last year, Caldwell was appointed as the new chief product officer of Peloton, a New York-based exercise equipment and media company.

READ MORE: Elon Musk Gets Into Heated Exchange With Stephen King After the Author Refused to Call Twitter by Its New Name X

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