The Robin Hood of the tech industry is back at it. Only instead of stealing from the rich, he’s really just taking from … well, himself. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of both Twitter and Square, is returning to a promise he made last October (after he laid off around 8 percent of the company), when he vowed to give a third of his shares in the social media company back to his employees. The trouble is that, apparently, he doesn’t have permission to do that. So now, the executive is asking shareholders to give the green light to a plan that would allow him to actually be rid of those 7 million shares.
The hope, ostensibly, would be to boost company morale at a time when Twitter doesn’t appear to be faring particularly well. Indeed, Dorsey has had a rough go of things since he resumed his position at the company’s helm last October. Earlier in 2016, a number of key executvies from the company jumped ship, and despite the relative success of Twitter-owned Periscope, investors seem a bit antsy about the future of Twitter proper.
Dorsey seems to hope that as long as he can keep his employee base satisfied, Wall Street may follow suit. As such, Twitter’s general counsel, Vijaya Gadde, sent a letter to shareholders on Friday, reminding them of Dorsey’s promise of a stock gift to his team, all “without any cost or charge to the social network.”
In the letter, Gadde wrote, “Mr. Dorsey and we believe our success is due to our highly talented employee base and that our future success depends on our ability to attract and retain high caliber people.” And what better way to retain them than with the promise of Twitter stock, eh?
Back in October, when Dorsey first made his pledge, he tweeted, “I’d rather have a smaller part of something big than a bigger part of something small. I’m confident we can make Twitter big!”
And it looks like Dorsey is still trying to keep that dream alive.