Over the past two weeks, Elon Musk has shaken up Twitter’s legal department, disbanded a council that advised the social media company on safety issues and is continuing to take drastic steps to cut costs.
Mr. Musk appears to be gearing up for legal battles at Twitter, which he purchased in October for $44 billion, according to seven people familiar with internal conversations. He and his team have revamped Twitter’s legal department and pushed out one of his closest advisers in the process. They have also instructed employees to not pay vendors in anticipation of potential litigation, the people said.
To cut costs, Twitter has not paid rent for its San Francisco headquarters or any of its global offices for weeks, three people close to the company said. Twitter has also refused to pay a $197,725 bill for private charter flights made the week of Mr. Musk’s takeover, according to a copy of a lawsuit filed in New Hampshire District Court and obtained by The New York Times.
Twitter’s leaders have also discussed the consequences of denying severance payments to thousands of people who have been laid off since the takeover, two people familiar with the talks said. And Mr. Musk has threatened employees with lawsuits if they talk to the media and “act in a manner contrary to the company’s interest,” according to an internal email sent last Friday.
The aggressive moves signal that Mr. Musk is still slashing expenditures and is bending or breaking Twitter’s previous agreements to make his mark. His reign has been characterized by chaos, a series of resignations and layoffs, reversals of the platform’s previous suspensions and rules, and capricious decisions that have driven away advertisers.
Mr. Musk did not respond to a request for comment. [Continue reading…]