Twitter CEO Floors Workers by Parting With $200M in Stock

Jack Dorsey pumps up employees: 'I'm confident we can make Twitter big!'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2015 9:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – Twitter employees have had a chaotic go of it over the past few weeks: first the shakeup of co-founder Jack Dorsey coming on board permanently as CEO, then an unpleasant round of layoffs that purged 8% of the company's staff. Brighter news, however, has since come down their feeds, Fortune reports. "I'm giving ~1/3rd of my Twitter stock (exactly 1% of the company) to our employee equity pool to reinvest directly in our people," he tweeted Thursday evening, when he also held a staff meeting to make his announcement, per the New York Times. Using his 22 million shares as the baseline, that percentage amounts to about 7 million shares, worth roughly $200 million, dumped into the worker's equity base, Fortune notes. Those shares can then be granted to new hires, as a bonus, or as other incentives.

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Why exactly Dorsey donned his Santa suit a bit early is up for speculation. The Washington Post, which calls the move "quite rare" due to its value, speculates he could have done it either to make nice with employees after the morale-busting layoffs, reward workers with equity without watering down other shares' value, or generate excitement before next week's earning call. "I'd rather have a smaller part of something big than a bigger part of something small. I'm confident we can make Twitter big!" he followed up on Twitter. Don't worry that Dorsey's generosity means he'll be chowing down on ramen every night: In addition to his remaining Twitter shares, his share of the Square electronic-payments company is worth around $1.6 billion, per Fortune. (Read more Twitter stories.)

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