Dorsey gives a third of his Twitter stake back to employees

Steven Loeb · October 23, 2015 · Short URL:

This comes after he recently gave away 50% of his stake in Square to under served communities

First it was Twitter's users, who Dorsey gave some pretty cool tools to keep them enagged. Then he apologized to the developers that the company has pissed off years ago, asking them to come back. Now Jack Dorsey has found a third group to try to endear himself to, and they are no doubt the most important so far: the people who work for him.

Dorsey announced, via Twitter, on Thursday that he is giving away roughly a third of his stake in Twitter "to our employee equity pool to reinvest directly in our people."

That comes out to be about 1 percent of Twitter's value. As of August of this year, Dorsey owned 21.8 million shares of stock.

Based on Twitter's closing stock price on Thursday, which was $29.16 per share, and 7.9 million shares, that would equal around $211 million that Dorsey is giving up. That is a nice chunk of change.

So why is Dorsey doing this? There are a few reasons I can think of.

The first that comes to my mind, and maybe this makes me a cynical person, is that Dorsey's other big company, Square, is about to go public, and will no doubt make him very, very rich. Or richer than he already is. So perhaps he feels like he doesn't need that money.

Here's the problem with that theory: he did the same thing over at Square. In fact, he gave away even more of his stake in Square, a whole half, in order to help under servered communities. Specifically he founded the Start Small Foundation, in order to invest in artists, musicians, and local businesses.

On top of that, over the past two years, Dorsey had also given away 15 million shares, or 20 percent of his equity, back to Square. So, scratch that theory, it looks like Dorsey is just a really generous person. Which is nice.

That is not to say that Dorsey does not have good reason to want to make his employees happy, especially in the wake of the company cutting  336 jobs, or 8% of its global workforce, in the first mass layoff in Twitter's entire history. I'd bet that Twitter employees are feeling a little skittish right now, and a move like this could help ease their fears.

It should also be noted that Twitter does not seem to have the best reputation among places to work in tech. The company does not appear in Glassdoor's top 50 best places to work list, while fellow tech companies, such as Google, Facebook, Adobe, Apple, LinkedIn, Zillow, MINDBODY and Orbitz do. What's a great way to make that list? Give money back to your employees!

For Dorsey, though, the explanation seems to be much simpler: a true belief in the future of Twitter, which hed explained in a follow-up Tweet.

"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!" he said.

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