Elon Musk’s lawyers notched a partial win this week in their Delaware Court of Chancery standoff against Twitter with a motion requesting information from 22 Twitter employees, or “custodians,” in addition to 41 others that both sides already agreed on for sharing data. Judge Kathaleen McCormick ruled on the issue Monday afternoon, deciding Twitter has to “collect, review, and produce documents” from just one of the people listed: Kayvon Beykpour, the former head of consumer product at Twitter.
With the October 17th trial date for Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk for trying to break up their $44 billion deal drawing closer — and Musk selling billions of dollars worth of his stock in Tesla — his lawyers are trying to find something to shore up their arguments that Twitter committed fraud, while Twitter’s legal team issues subpoenas to help out the case on their side. Insider reports, based on anonymous sourcing, that Musk’s lawyers were pursuing information from Twitter employees who ranged from mid-level execs to lower-level employees, and noted that his legal team filed another motion to compel pursuing info on Twitter’s user data, as well as the methods used to collect and analyze it.
As described in a lengthy countersuit (that Twitter already responded to), they argue the company put walls in the way of Musk’s attempts to verify data about how many daily active users are actually bots, as Musk disputes the company’s claim that spam bots account for fewer than 5 percent of the accounts it measures.
When Beykpour appeared on our Decoder podcast last year to talk about Twitter’s upcoming plans, we described him as “responsible for deciding what tools Twitter actually builds for people to express themselves.” Those tools included things like Super Follows, the live audio Spaces rooms, and its Revue newsletters.
However, he’s now a former exec after Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal, fired Beykpour and the corresponding leader on the revenue side, Bruce Falck, in one sweeping move on May 12th. Beykpour explained his departure by tweeting, “Parag asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction.”
Bloomberg reports Musk lawyer Alex Spiro said, “we look forward to reviewing Beykpour’s communications and will continue to seek information and witnesses until the full truth comes out.”