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Elon Musk’s third termination notice to Twitter is about Mudge’s severance

The third time is the attraction. Elon Musk’s attorneys may need been considering that whereas sending the third termination discover to Twitter final Friday in an try to finish its $44 billion acquisition of the corporate. In the latest notice filed with the SEC, Tesla CEO’s authorized crew has objected to Twitter paying severance cash to the corporate’s former safety head Peiter “Mudge” Zatko in June — arguing that the motion violated a clause within the acquisition settlement.

The discover despatched to Twitter mentions that the deal settlement had a situation the place the social community couldn’t pay any non-ordinary severance or termination funds to “Firm Service Supplier” together with ex-employees. Now we have requested Twitter for a remark, and we’ll replace the story if we hear again.

The Wall Road Journal reported final week that Twitter confidentially negotiated a $7 million severance with Zatko, who left the corporate in January 2022. The social community employed him in 2020 to repair the platform’s myriad of safety issues. The report famous that Zatko had signed an ordinary nondisclosure settlement whereas accepting the payout — but it surely allowed him to discuss the corporate by means of whistleblower complaints and congressional hearings.

Zatko’s whistleblower complaints to the US SEC and FTC got here to the fore in July alleging the corporate of bad security practices that could be a threat “to national security and democracy.” In response, Twitter mentioned he was fired in January 2022 for “ineffective management and poor efficiency” and his allegations in opposition to the corporate painted a “false narrative.” These complaints additionally accused Twitter of adopting murky measurement matrices to suppress the variety of pretend accounts on the platform — a core issue within the Musk-Twitter authorized battle.

After this incident got here to the floor, Musk despatched his second termination discover to Twitter last month citing Zatko’s revelations that weren’t beforehand identified to him. Musk’s authorized crew additionally despatched a subpoena to Zatko in search of a deposition and a ton of paperwork from the Twitter ex-security chief. The billionaire despatched his first termination notice on July 8 after a protracted battle in regards to the variety of spam bots on the platform.

Earlier this month, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court docket of Chancery mentioned that Musk can use Zatko’s claims in his suit against Twitter, however denied the request to delay the trial that can go underway on October 17. Musk’s crew is making an attempt to make use of any variety of arguments starting from the variety of pretend accounts on the service to Twitter’s shady safety and privateness approaches to get out of the $44 billion acquisition deal.

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