Elon Musk's biographer, who was shadowing him, 'wouldn't be surprised' to see future lawsuits following 'contentious' conversations on the night the Twitter deal closed

Elon Musk's biographer, who was shadowing him, 'wouldn't be surprised' to see future lawsuits following 'contentious' conversations on the night the Twitter deal closed
Elon Musk has fired Parag Agrawal and other top Twitter executives.Getty Images/Reuters
  • Walter Isaacson said he "would not be surprised" if Elon Musk faced more lawsuits over Twitter.
  • The biographer said the day the deal closed it was "quite contentious" in Twitter's headquarters.

Walter Isaacson, an author who has been shadowing Elon Musk for a biography on the billionaire, said he could see Musk involved in further litigation over his Twitter purchase.

"I think Musk has said in the past that whether it's on the bot issue or many other issues, he suspects that he's been misled," Isaacson said in an interview Monday with CNBC Squawk Box. "And so I would not be surprised at all if there are lawsuits involving everything from compensation to people he feels have withheld information illegally from him."

The biographer shadowed Musk over the past week as the billionaire followed through with his plans to buy Twitter.

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On Sunday, Musk tweeted a screenshot of a message from May 17 via Twitter's internal Slack messages from Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of safety and integrity.

"Wachtell & Twitter board deliberately hid this evidence from the court," Musk tweeted, referencing the social media company's legal team. "Stay tuned, more to come..."


In his initial countersuit against Twitter's attempts to force him to buy the company, Musk argued the social media company intentionally misled him as to the number of scam accounts on its site. At the time, experts said Musk's argument was weak as he had signed an ironclad agreement to purchase the company.

Isaacson said he wasn't sure how "successful" the lawsuits would be and noted that Musk could also be facing litigation from executives who's severance payments could be in "jeopardy."

Within moments of taking over Twitter, Musk fired four top executives at the company, including former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal. The former executives were set to receive golden parachutes worth $38.7 million and $25.4 million, respectively. But The Information reported that Musk fired the executives "for cause" in an attempt to avoid the pay outs, citing a person familiar with the issue. The billionaire has since denied the accusation.

Ultimately, the biographer said the scene was tense when Musk and his bankers sat down with Twitter executives to close the deal on Thursday night after months of litigation.

"They're in a conference room on the second floor of Twitter headquarters, and the deal is supposed to be closing, and it's not shall we say, the friendliest thing," Isaacson said, recalling the event. "It's not as if the Twitter executives are bringing down bottles of champagne, and it became through the evening quite contentious."


A day earlier, Musk entered Twitter's headquarters in high spirits, carrying a bathroom sink and joking about the acquisition. But Insider's Kali Hays reported that within hours of acquiring the company the billionaire launched a weekend of coding sprints after asking team leaders to compile ranked lists of employees based on performance evaluations.