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Two Twitter execs left more than $35 million in stock awards on the table when they quit last year

COO Adam Bain and CTO Adam Messinger said bye to a lot of potential cash when they departed.

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Former Twitter COO Adam Bain
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Twitter’s top executives are very well paid, but that didn’t stop many from leaving the struggling social communications company.

In fact, two of Twitter’s highest-paid executives in 2016, COO Adam Bain and CTO Adam Messinger, gave up some serious money when they resigned from the company at the end of last year. The take they left behind? Over $35 million in stock awards combined.

That’s a lot, even for top Silicon Valley executives.

As you can see from the filing below, Bain made close to $1 million in salary and bonus and was awarded over $28 million in stock awards outright. Messinger got about half that in salary, with no bonus and just over $19 million in stock.

From Twitter’s recent regulatory filing

These salary figures were revealed on Friday when Twitter filed its proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of its upcoming annual shareholders meeting.

The document, among other things, includes compensation totals for board members and other key executives. Considering Twitter’s stock slid almost 30 percent in 2016, many were quick to point out that its top executives were making out quite nicely despite the struggles.

One thing that obviously jumped out from the table was that two of those top-paid execs, Bain and Messinger, made a combined $49 million in 2016 before leaving the company at the end of the year.

At least, that’s how it looks from the table.

In reality, the vast majority of that compensation came in the form of stock awards that were to be paid out over four years. And only some of those shares vested in 2016, approximately 26 percent of them, according to filings.

That means the duo did not get $49 million last year. Instead, they were paid closer to $14 million combined, including salaries, and left $35 million in stock awards behind when they departed.

That’s still handsome compensation. But the bigger concern here is that even a truckload of cash can’t keep top executives from fleeing Twitter.

A Twitter spokesperson directed us to the company’s filing when we reached out for comment.

This article originally appeared on

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