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Twitter’s former vice president of engineering sues Musk over unpaid bonuses

The lawsuit is asking for over $1 million.

 

Marlon Ettinger

Tech

A new lawsuit filed by a former Twitter employee in a Washington court alleges that X Corp, the corporate successor to Twitter, refused to pay $375,000 to Arnaud Weber, its former vice president of engineering.

Weber says he was promised a $1.5 million dollar retention bonus on July 1, 2022 that would be paid out in four parts as long as he stayed with the company. The bonus, according to the complaint, was “an effort to show our appreciation for your contributions and impact on Twitter and your dedication to Twitter’s success now and beyond…”

But Weber only received the first $375,000 payment before being fired, the complaint alleges.

Weber first started working with Twitter in 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile. In Feb 2022, he was promoted to vice president of engineering for consumer products, with a new base salary of $420,000, according to the complaint.

Elon Musk and X put forward a merger agreement to take over the company on April 25, 2022.

In the meantime Weber accepted the bonus, and received the first $375,000 payment on Oct 1, 2022, according to the complaint.  

Musk took over the company on Oct. 27 of the same year.

On Dec. 9, 2022 Weber got an email from Twitter HR, the complaint says. 

The email, which is quoted in the complaint, says that retention awards made between the time of the merger agreement and the closing date required the consent of the new buyer.

“As Twitter is now a private company and under new management, all retention awards are being reviewed for compliance,” reads the email in the complaint. “Accordingly, payments from any such awards are being paused pending review.”

Weber’s complaint claims that his second $375,000 payment was due on Jan 1, 2023 and that he remained employed through that date, but that he was fired on Jan 4.

However, it’s unclear if that’s true, as on Nov. 4, 2022, Weber tweeted that his time at Twitter was over after three years. “I wanted to thank every Tweeps for making this experience amazing and memorable,” Weber wrote. “Twitter still has a lot of unlocked potential but I’m proud of what we accomplished.”

From March through June, Weber claims in his lawsuit, he sent certified letters to Musk, Twitter’s legal department, and X CEO Linda Yaccarino about the missing payment, but got no response. The current lawsuit asks for the unpaid bonus as well as damages of no less than $750,000.

Weber says in his complaint that because he doesn’t know the names of the employees at Twitter who have authority over the payment of wages, he’s naming them John/Jane-Does I-V until he discovers that information.

Weber didn’t respond to questions about when his employment formally ended or any communications he had with Twitter afterwards.

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