Twitter CEO earns brownie points with stock giveback

By Money Times

Oct 27, 2015 10:17 PM EDT

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gives away a third of his stock in the online messaging service to employees.

The move, seen by many as an effort to win staff support, comes just a week after Dorsey laid off more than 300 employees or 8% of Twitter's workforce to streamline the company.

The shares of stock given by Dorsey represent 1% of the company. That's about 7 million shares, equivalent to some $200 million.

In a tweet, the Twitter CEO said: "As for me, 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!"

Dorsey's announcement was made official Friday last week through a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Jack's giveback doesn't change the way we comp employees, it just means there are more shares in the employee equity pool that will get distributed from time to time for events such as promotions and new hires," a Twitter spokesperson was quoted by CNN as saying.

Dorsey will still have 15 million shares left in Twitter. Based on the company's current market value, that amounts to $460 million.

This is not the first time Dorsey has given away shares. A week before announcing his Twitter giveback, he also said he was donating 40 million shares of Square to charity.

Dorsey concurrently serves as CEO of Square, a payment system that is set to go public with an IPO.

He is facing pressure to make both Square and Twitter competitive.

Twitter's value have fallen 40% over the past six months, amid concerns over the company's future growth. It has some 300 million users while its rival Facebook has 1.5 billion.

Square, which is just a block away from Twitter's main office in San Francisco, is going against tech giants Apple and Google in the mobile payments business.

One of the co-founders of Twitter, Dorsey had served as the company's original CEO but was ousted as the board thought then he lacked leadership skills. He was brought back as permanent CEO earlier this month.

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