Elon Musk frequently told Twitter staff 'let them sue' in response to vendors and landlords complaining about unpaid bills, report says

elon musk frequently told twitter staff 'let them sue' in response to vendors and landlords complaining about unpaid bills, report says

Elon Musk formed a “transition team” at Twitter tasked with cutting costs, and they often refused to pay vendors’ bills. Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Getty Images

  • Elon Musk told staff “let them sue” in response to complaints from Twitter vendors over unpaid bills, the FT reports.
  • Musk has sought to aggressively cut costs since taking over Twitter in October 2022.
  • Various lawsuits have been filed against Twitter claiming more than $14 million over unpaid bills. 

Elon Musk has repeatedly said “let them sue,” as unpaid bills for Twitter’s vendors have piled up since his takeover, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing a former senior employee.

After Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter, he formed a “transition team” of trusted lieutenants in November, tasked with cutting costs, per the FT. The team frequently refused to compensate Twitter’s vendors, landlords, and partners in an effort to keep costs low, the report added.

“Elon would always say ‘Let them sue’, it was a constant refrain,” a former senior staffer who was laid-off in the latest cuts told the FT. “It’s all very short-term thinking.”

The transition team is reportedly headed by Boring Company CEO and long-time associate of Musk, Steve Davis, who focuses on reducing day-to-day costs at Twitter. He has cut close to $1 billion in costs at Musk’s request, per The Information.

Musk is also said to be working with his investors to work out how to deal with the existing vendor situation.

These vendors range from landlords, companies like Salesforce, Adobe, and Slack, insurance providers, security, limo services, and fertility providers.

According to the FT, Pablo Mendoza, a managing director at Vy Capital – who funded $700 million of his $44 billion Twitter takeover – has helped to negotiate some bills down by as much as 90%. Mendoza sometimes plays on vendors’ emotions, telling them that his job is at risk if bills are not cut, the FT said.

Twitter did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment about the FT’s report.

Musk, who has claimed he had to “save Twitter from bankruptcy,” has been desperately attempting to cut costs since his takeover, with the most drastic measure being his laying-off of more than half the company’s staff.

Other radical cost-cutting measures include not paying rent for offices, auctioning off Twitter merchandise, and getting rid of employee perks like free lunches.

At least nine lawsuits have been filed against Twitter claiming more than $14 million plus interest, over unpaid bills, the Wall Street Journal reported in February.

One marketing agency, Canary LLC, is suing Twitter for almost $400,000, saying it failed to pay for merchandise.

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