The Judge has ordered Twitter Inc. to give the former executive’s data, head of consumer products, to Elon Musk about spam accounts and bots. Elon Musk has cited trying to back out of his $44 billion company purchase.
But a judge in Delaware Chancery Court, where Twitter sued Musk to complete the deal, also said Twitter doesn’t have to produce documents for most employees. Musk says they are key witnesses in the case of the bot thing.
Elon Musk recently accused Twitter of withholding the names of workers specifically responsible for assessing how much of the platform’s customer base is there in spam and bot accounts. He asked the judge to compel Twitter to specify them. So far, Twitter has released the names of record custodians, who aren’t all that familiar with the data in question.
Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick mostly rejected in a one-page ruling when Musk requested. The judge ordered that Twitter need not collect, review, or produce documents from any of the 21 additional custodians Elon Musk requested, but she ordered to give former executive’s data. The exception is Kayvon Beykpour, a former director of consumer products, whom somebody fired in May.
Beykpour was Twitter’s top product executive for years before new CEO Parag Agrawal unexpectedly fired him. Beykpour’s product team was directly responsible for expanding Twitter’s user base. And it is the quality of that base that Musk has questioned in trying to walk away from the deal.
Beykpour joined Twitter in 2015 when it obtained its live video app, Periscope, and quickly rose through the ranks under former CEO Jack Dorsey. Before firing, he pushed Twitter into new product areas, like live audio slots and newsletters.
Lawyers for Twitter and Musk have issued a series of subpoenas to banks, investors, and lawyers involved in the deal as the two sides prepare for an Oct. 17 trial in Wilmington.
Twitter claims Musk is using concerns about spam and bot accounts as an excuse to get out of the transaction. Musk argues that the company has failed to show that spam bots make up less than 5% of its active users, as he has said in regulatory filings.