February 17, 2016
Three senior executives were awarded additional compensation by Twitter Inc. that could be worth around $55.4 million. This extra compensation was given amidst a reorganization of the management team as they had to take on heavier workloads. On Wednesday, the social media company granted restricted stock units to General Counsel Vijaya Gadde, Chief Operating Officer Adam Bain, as well as Chief Technology Officer Adam Messinger. In a securities filing on Friday, all the grants were disclosed and they will vest in over four years. According to the filing and as per the share price of $14.98 on Wednesday, Mr. Bain was granted 1.85 million stock units, which came to a value of $27.7 million.
The number of stock units given to Mr. Messinger were about 1.25 million and they were valued at $1.87 million. Likewise, valued at $9 million, Mr. Gadde was given about 600,000 units. Twitter announced that the additional compensation was given for reflecting the additional responsibilities that the three had taken on after a flurry of recent departures. Last month, the heads of engineering, product, human resources and media had resigned and the firm’s vice president of communication had left Twitter in July. Mr. Bain is a veteran executive and he has held the responsibility of Twitter’s advertising business since 2010.
He was promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer in September and also holds the charge of the company’s revenue and media teams. Furthermore, he is also serving as the interim head of human resources at Twitter. Mr. Messinger, on the other hand, was given the reigns of the product development, engineering and design teams of Twitter in January. These are very critical areas for the firm as it aims to show Wall Street how it can attract more users. Twitter said on Wednesday that it was the first time that its user base didn’t show any growth in the fourth quarter.
Executives stated that there has been some increase in users in the current quarter. Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter, spoke to analysts on an earnings call and said that the main focus of Mr. Messinger is to collaborate the three organizations for setting a quicker pace. In the past, Twitter has received criticism for the slow pace it has taken amidst executive changes and shifting strategies. In the past five years, the number of product heads at Twitter have changed five times whereas there have been 2 heads of media and 3 heads of engineering. In June, CEO Dick Costolo chose to step down.
Mr. Dorsey said that his top priority is recruitment for now. It was also disclosed in Friday’s filing that the current CEO, who is also the CEO of Square Inc., a payment startup, will continue to forgo compensation for now. The combined holdings of Mr. Dorsey in Square and Twitter are about $1 billion. Furthermore, Twitter also said that soon the executive compensation would be tied to performance. If certain performance metrics are met by the 3 executives, they would be given further stock units.
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