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Breakingviews: Twitter Chief’s Creative Giveback Is a Promising Start

Many executives in Silicon Valley typically profess the desire to make the world a better place. The platitude is often accompanied by rich compensation packages. That’s why the creative giveback by Twitter’s boss, Jack Dorsey, stands out as a promising start for his second reign as chief executive.

He is donating a third of his stake in the $ 20 billion company, or about $ 200 million worth, to the employee compensation pool. The move should engender some needed loyalty after his decision to moonlight as chief executive of the payments company Square. Twitter could use more such bold ideas.

Mr. Dorsey has shown similar generosity before. Over the last two years, he has given 15 million of his shares in Square back to that company. That benefited his colleagues by making their shares more valuable and it allowed for larger future equity grants. He also recently pledged to give more than half his remaining one-quarter stake in Square to charity.

It’s at least partly an acknowledgment of the diminishing returns of building ever more personal wealth. If Square goes public at the $ 6 billion valuation implied by its last round of financing, Mr. Dorsey would still be a billionaire after all his giveaways. The money is probably better spent keeping employees happy.

Talented engineers are in high demand, and Twitter could use a breakthrough or two to keep up with the likes of Facebook. Mr. Dorsey’s decision may turn out to be the difference between retaining and losing the right people. That would pay dividends for Twitter shareholders and pave the way for Mr. Dorsey to give away more.


NYT > Technology

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