On Thursday evening, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced at a staff meeting and on the microblogging site that he would donate about a third of his Twitter stock to the company’s employees. The shares amount to 1 percent of the company and are worth about $200 million. Dorsey said it will go into the employee stock compensation pool “to reinvest directly in our people.”
“I’d rather have a smaller part of something big than a bigger part of something small,” Dorsey tweeted. “I’m confident we can make Twitter big!”
🐥⚡️ 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.— Jack (@jack) October 23, 2015
The move is likely to be partly aimed at improving employee morale at Twitter, which took a battering after Dorsey laid off 8 percent of the company’s global workforce last week. It also marks the second week in a row that the Twitter founder has given away millions in stock. Last week, Dorsey – who is also CEO of Square – disclosed in the mobile payment company’s IPO filing that he would donate 40 million shares, or 10 percent of the total stock outstanding, to the Start Small Foundation. These were added to the 15 million shares he had already donated to both Square and the charity, which invests in artists, musicians and local businesses in underserved communities.
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer revealed last week that he has become the third-biggest individual shareholder in Twitter after taking a 4 percent stake in the company. It means that Ballmer owns more of Twitter than Dorsey, who now has a 2 percent stake. The other holders of large amounts of Twitter stock include company co-founder Evan Williams, who has a 6.8 percent stake, and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who holds more than 5 percent.
Twitter will announce its third-quarter earnings next week on Oct. 27.