Elon Musk Posts Crying-Laughing Emoji in Response to $128 Million Lawsuit by Fired Twitter Executives

The “face with tears of joy” emoji represents “a crying with laughter facial expression,” according to Wikipedia. “The emoji is used in communication to portray joking and teasing on messaging platforms.”

Elon Musk, the multibillionaire tech baron who owns X (formerly Twitter), on Monday was sued by four former Twitter executives, whom Musk fired immediately after (reluctantly) closing the $44 billion takeover of the company in October 2022. The execs — former CEO Parag Agrawal; ex-CFO Ned Segal; Vijaya Gadde, formerly Twitter’s head of legal, policy and trust, and safety; and former general counsel Sean Edgett — allege he collectively owes them $128 million in severance pay after being wrongfully terminated.

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In what appears to be his first public comment on the litigation, Musk — a notorious fan of internet memes — posted the tears of joy emoji on X in response to a user’s sarcastic remark about the case. “Parag Agraval [sic] is suing Elon Musk claiming that he did in fact get a lot done that week,” the Whole Mars Catalog posted Monday on X, to which Musk replied with the crying-laughing emoji.

In a later post, Musk responded to another X user who joked that Agrawal uses a clown emoji for himself, with Musk writing, “If the emoji fits … 🤷‍♂️.”

A spokesperson for X did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, cites a passage from Walter Isaacson’s biography of Musk, which recounts Musk’s belief that he would be able to fire Agrawal and the three other senior Twitter execs for cause before their stock options could vest if he closed the acquisition on Oct. 27, 2022.

“There’s a 200-million [dollar] differential in the cookie jar between closing tonight and doing it tomorrow morning,” Musk reportedly told Isaacson. Per the book: “‘He [Agrawal] tried to resign,’ Musk said. ‘But we beat him,’ his gunslinging lawyer Alex Spiro replied.”

According to the lawsuit filed by the ex-Twitter executives, “Because Musk decided he didn’t want to pay Plaintiffs’ severance benefits, he simply fired them without reason, then made up fake cause and appointed employees of his various companies to uphold his decision. [Musk] claimed in his termination letters that each Plaintiff had committed ‘gross negligence’ and ‘willful misconduct’ without citing a single fact in support of this claim. Musk’s employees then spent a year trying to come up with facts to support his pre-ordained conclusion, to no avail.”

A copy of the lawsuit is available at this link (via NYTimes).

Separately, Musk on Monday lost claim to the title of the world’s richest person, with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (with a net worth $200 billion as of March 4) edging out Musk ($198 billion), per the Wall Street Journal.

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