Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Just Gave His Employees $200 Million in Stock

Nobody said taking over as Twitter’s CEO would be easy.

It’s been a rough few week for co-founder turned latest Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who promptly announced that the company had grown too large and that he would have to lay off around 335 employees.

Not surprisingly, the share price fell when this happened, despite an initial boost upon his entry.

Now, perhaps to make up for it, Dorsey has given a third of his stake in the company back to employees, in a move that seems to be catching on lately. He made the announcement last night on Twitter (obviously).

The amount he’ll donate to the employee equity pool is equal to about 1 per cent of the company’s total equity base. As he owns about 22 million shares of the company (Dorsey remains Twitter’s seventh largest shareholder), his donation equals about 7 million shares. In total that’s around $200 million in stock.

With their addition to the equity pool, the shares will be available for equity grants as part of hiring new staff and awarding bonuses.

Dorsey also recently donated 20 per cent (about 15 million shares) of his stake in Square  — the electronic payments company he founded after Twitter  — to a foundation he set up to benefit artists and other creative professionals. Perhaps we were all too quick to judge the 38-year-old businessman.

Whether the move earns him any major points in the likability department with Twitter’s employees remains to be seen.

In the meantime, Twitter will announce third-quarter earnings next week on Oct. 27.