Twitter chief Jack Dorsey is giving a third of his stock to employees - that's US$214m

Twitter co-founder and chief Jack Dorsey on Thursday (Oct 22) said that he is giving a third of his shares to company employees.
Twitter co-founder and chief Jack Dorsey on Thursday (Oct 22) said that he is giving a third of his shares to company employees.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Twitter co-founder and chief Jack Dorsey on Thursday (Oct 22) said that he is giving a third of his shares to staff.

Based on Twitter's closing price of US$29.15 per share on Thursday, Mr Dorsey's just given over about US$214 million (S$296.8 milion) worth of company stock back to employees.

The move could be intended to boost morale in the aftermath of job cuts at the Internet firm.

Mr Dorsey actually announced this to Twitter by posting the tweets while on stage in front of the company's employees, Business Insider reported:

"I'm giving approximately one-third of my Twitter stock (exactly one per cent of the company) to our employee pool to reinvest directly in our people," Mr Dorsey said - apropriately enough - in a tweet.

"I'd rather have a smaller part of something big than a bigger part of something small," Mr Dorsey added in a follow-up tweet.

Twitter shares closed in New York trading at US$29.16, giving the one-to-many messaging service a market value of US$19.82 billion, according to Google Finance.

Twitter earlier this month said it was slashing eight per cent of its workforce as newly returned chief executive Mr Dorsey outlined his "roadmap" to boost users and revenues at the money-losing messaging platform.

The cuts - which amount to 336 jobs - came less than a week after Dorsey, one of the founders of Twitter, returned to the job of CEO on a permanent basis as part of an effort to revive growth at the social network.

Twitter is slated to release its latest quarterly earnings figures next week.

The company, which has not yet turned a profit, has struggled to expand its user base, lagging rival networks such as Instagram and well behind the much larger Facebook.

Mr Dorsey ran the company in 2007-2008 and was named interim chief executive after Dick Costolo resigned in June. He continues to run digital payments service Square, which he founded about five years ago and is planning a debut on the stock exchange.