Musk Finds Mudge Moonshot, Well Timed for Chancery Court Hearing; Texas Showdown Over ESG

Let the Mudge slinging begin. This summer’s greatest drama just added a new twist this week after a whistleblower complaint became public alleging extreme, egregious deficiencies” in Twitter’s security and privacy. These accusations are from Peiter “Mudge” Zatko who sat down with CNN and The Washington Post to detail his stint with the company and why he is coming forward now. Zatko denied “carrying water” for Elon Musk in relation to the timing of his allegations, as Musk and his team seized the opportunity to tie the news to their legal case.


Although the whistleblower complaint centers around security and poor management, Zatko also claims Twitter misrepresents the number of users on the platform. The next day in a Wilmington courthouse, Musk’s legal team argued the complaint should result in the company turning over additional data and communications. This is part of their broader legal strategy to send subpoenas far and wide to prove the company omitted required information. Among many, Tulane University Law Professor, Ann Lipton, believes a number of hurdles still exist to legally prove Musk was misled.

Bradley Wilson, an attorney for Twitter, outlined for the court how most of the requested documents had already been provided and Zatko’s allegations have no bearing on the legal case. Regarding the requested documents, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick sided with Twitter saying the data request was "absurdly broad" and "overly burdensome." 

Outside of Delaware, Twitter has been working to limit the corporate damage, as Reuters reports staff turnover has accelerated. A spokesperson for the company said Zatko’s statements were “riddled with inaccuracies” and he is “opportunistically seeking to inflict harm on Twitter, its customers, and its shareholders.”


Meanwhile, we can add Texas to the list of states feuding with Wall Street. The state’s comptroller Glenn Hegar issued a list of 10 financial institutions, including BlackRock and UBS, that should be barred them from doing business with state entities. His rationale: these firms are anti-energy companies. This is the latest development in the ongoing politicization of ESG investing, which comes on the heels of other states such as Florida and West Virginia enacting similar policies.


Have a great weekend,

GPP Team


Washington Post: Former Security Chief Claims Twitter Buried Deficiencies

First to report on the whistleblower complaint filed by former Twitter security head Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, The Washington Post outlines a “rudderless” company in breach of an FTC settlement requiring a stable security plan. Read More      

CNN: Ex-Twitter Exec Blows the Whistle, Alleging Reckless and Negligent Cybersecurity Policies

In a disclosure to Congress and multiple federal agencies, Twitter’s former head of security and ethical hacker Peiter “Mudge” Zatko interviews with CNN, claiming there are critical security vulnerabilities that threaten user privacy, shareholders and democracy itself. Watch Here

Wall Street Journal: Elon Musk-Twitter Legal Fight Complicated by Whistleblower Complaint

Following reports of security deficiencies from Twitter’s former security head Peiter Zatko, WSJ’s Erin Mulvaney analyses how Zatko’s claims of misreporting of bot accounts at Twitter impacts Elon Musk’s legal battle to withdraw from his $44bn takeover of the platform. Read More

Bloomberg: BlackRock, UBS Among Firms Facing Texas Ban Over Energy Policies

The Texas state comptroller Glenn Hegar is targeting 10 large financial institutions including BlackRock and hundreds of investment funds, by banning them from doing business with state entities under the guise they are hostile towards the energy industry. Read more


CLS Blue Sky Blog: How Does Delaware Do It? Judges Alone Don’t Explain Speed

Professor Matthew Jennejohn explains how the Delaware Chancery Court, what he calls the “rocket docket”, can take on complex litigation in a tight schedule while issuing an opinion that is “finely crafted, and customized to the specifics of the litigation and the precedential landscape.” Read More

DealBook: McDonald’s Orders a Board Shake-Up

Carl Icahn’s failed proxy fight over McDonald’s treatment of pregnant pigs might prove consequential after all. The company announced changes to its board including the departure of Icahn target, Sheila Penrose. Read More

Sullivan & Cromwell: 2022 Proxy Season Review – Part 2

With a particular focus on say-on-pay voting and equity compensation, Sullivan & Cromwell’s proxy review memo looks at data from shareholder voting from this year’s proxy season. Read More

Reuters: Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Wins OK to Buy 50% Occidental Stake

The “Oracle of Omaha” Warren Buffet received approval from regulators to acquire up to 50% of Occidental Petroleum, providing the opportunity to add to Berkshire Hathaway’s current 20.2% stake. Read more

Bloomberg: Hasbro Considers Sale or Restructuring of Entertainment Assets

After doling out $4bn in 2019 for eOne, in what was supposed to transform the toy maker into an entertainment powerhouse, the company has announced a strategic review to reevaluate its entertainment strategy. Read more

Wall Street Journal: IPO Market Faces Worst Year in Two Decades. ‘Really Hard Pill to Swallow.’

The IPO market has reached lows not seen since 2009. With big names like GoPuff, Klarna and Instacart still private, IPO advisors weigh in on what to expect from the IPO market in the near-term. Read More

Lex: Tech IPOs: Quiet Market Creates Backlog of Companies Waiting to Go Public

The second quarter brought about the largest downturn in IPOs in the last 10 years. Given ongoing the market volatility from interest rate hikes ahead and ongoing geopolitical conflict, tech companies have a decision to make: risk a down round or wait it out on the sidelines. Read More


Summertime is known for the beach, ice cream, barbecuing and... internships! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work at GPP, you’re in luck. Our 2022 summer intern program just wrapped up and our talented interns have come together to share their experiences working in financial communications, and to provide advice to the next generation. Read each of their perspectives in our GPP’s Summer Intern Class of 2022: Coffee, Comms and Q&A blog post.


Thanks again Lorenzo, Nicole, Jacob and Shantinque!


  • Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings named Ryan Israel as CIO as part of the fund’s succession planning. Ackman will continue as CEO and portfolio manager. Read More


  • Kasper Rorsted, CEO of adidas, will step down from his position in 2023 as the company initiates a search for its next CEO. Read More


  • Lillian Rizzo, formerly a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, joined CNBC to cover media, sports and other business news. Read More

  • The Financial Times has hired Louis Ashworth as a reporter/writer for its financial blog FT Alphaville. Read More

September 12-16: Goldman Sachs Communacopia & Technology Conference 

September 15, 2022: The Deal Awards 2022

September 28, 2022: CNBC Delivering Alpha

October 18, 2022: 13D Monitor Active-Passive Investor Summit

October 26, 2022: Axios BFD 

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