Elon Musk subpoenas former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as legal battle rages

Billionaire Elon Musk’s legal battle regarding his on-hold acquisition of social media company Twitter turned up the heat on current CEO Parag Agrawal’s suit Friday when a subpoena was issued to former CEO and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

Musk’s attempt to privatize the company has led to a suit from Agrawal’s team and a countersuit by the entrepreneur regarding the number of fake accounts that may exist on the platform. Ahead of a court date slated for Oct. 17, the billionaire has sought the testimony as well as any “documents and communications” that Dorsey could provide to support his claim that the current board has misrepresented the value of the company.

The subpoena, revealed in a Delaware Chancery Court filing, sets forth the desire to ask Dorsey about “the impact or effect of false or spam accounts on Twitter’s business and operations” and metrics to measure spam bots.

“Documents and Communications reflecting, referring to, or relating to Twitter’s use of mDAU (monetizable daily active usage) as a ‘Key Metric,’ as noted in Twitter’s SEC filings, including Documents and Communications reflecting, referring to, or relating to the relationship between mDAU and Twitter’s present or future revenue or EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization,)” were included among the list of formal requests from the former CEO.

The subpoena further sought, “Documents and Communications reflecting, referring to, or relating to Twitter’s use of any other user metric other than mDAU, including but not limited to, daily active users, monthly active users, daily user engagement, monthly user engagement, or advertisement engagements,” and records “relating to incorporating mDAU into executive or director compensation, including but not limited to any annual compensation targets, bonus pools, incentive plans, or performance-based restricted stock units.”

In other words, not only does Musk want to show in court that Twitter’s board misrepresented the number of fake accounts, he wants to show whether they did so for their own financial benefit.

The subpoena followed Musk’s previous attempt to settle the matter out of court when he challenged Agrawal to a public debate where the current CEO could have provided proof that Twitter had less than five percent fake accounts as had been claimed.

While Musk had reportedly “been approached by one unnamed network and two unnamed cable channels to air his proposed debate,” Agrawal has thus far appeared unreceptive to the offer.

Dorsey himself has expressed his opinion that Twitter be a publicly owned “good” rather than a company but also extended his “trust” in Musk when the entrepreneur made his offer to purchase the social media company.

“In principle, I don’t believe anyone should own or run Twitter,” Dorsey had tweeted. “It wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company. Solving for the problem of it being a company however, Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness. Elon’s goal of creating a platform that is ‘maximally trusted and broadly inclusive’ is the right one. This is also [Parag Agrawal’s] goal, and why I chose him. Thank you both for getting the company out of an impossible situation. This is the right path…I believe it with all my heart.”

As Fox Business reported, “Dorsey’s subpoena comes after Judge Kathaleen McCormick has ordered Twitter to collect, review and produce documents from Kayvon Beykpour, the former general manager of its consumer product division. Musk’s team is also requesting information from Bruce Falck, the former lead of Twitter’s revenue product division.”

The outlet also noted that Twitter shareholders are scheduled to vote on Sept. 13 on whether or not to accept Musk’s merger.

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