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Twitter Says Handing Out More Stock Bonuses Won't Hurt Its Business

Twitter is giving away stock to employees to keep them around -- and tells Wall Street that's a good thing.

Scott Olson / Getty Images News

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said on the company’s last earnings call that his No. 1 priority is recruiting. That includes retaining employees already in the building. To do that, Twitter is handing out more restricted stock units to employees as incentive to stay, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week.

Twitter wants investors to know that this strategy isn’t going to impact its business — at least no more than expected.

“In light of recent press, a reminder that all incremental employee compensation is already contemplated in our Q1 and FY 2016 guidance,” the company tweeted from its Investor Relations account Friday.

In other words: Don’t worry about us passing out more stock, we’ve already told you to plan for it.

Twitter also pointed out how Dorsey pledged 6.8 million shares of his personal stock to employees back in October. That process is still awaiting approval from Twitter shareholders at its annual meeting, but if greenlighted, amounts to roughly $115 million in stock.

Handing out more stock is not a Twitter-only plan. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner announced recently he was giving back his own $14 million stock bonus to the employee pool. It’s worth noting that Twitter’s stock compensation as a proportion of revenue has actually gone down the last two years.

In 2013, stock compensation was equal to 90 percent of the company’s annual revenue, compared to just 30 percent in 2015. That’s still much higher than, say, Facebook, which paid out stock compensation equivalent to roughly 16 percent of its 2015 revenue last year.


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