Associated Press

(Associated Press)

Twitter's Dorsey to Give a Third of His Stock to Employee Equity Pool

Stocks Reuters

Twitter Chief Executive and co-founder Jack Dorsey said he is giving a third of his stock in the company, about 1 percent, to the employee equity pool.

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The move, worth $197 million as of July 28, is to "reinvest directly in our people," Dorsey, who was named as the company's permanent CEO earlier this month, said in a tweet on Thursday.

Twitter did not comment further on the move.

The unusual move comes as Dorsey works to rebuild employee morale and confidence at Twitter after a spate of high-level departures over the past several months.

He announced last week that the company would lay off 336 employees, about 8 percent of its workforce, in an attempt to streamline Twitter's products and teams.

Dorsey, who took over as interim CEO in July after Dick Costolo resigned, also tweeted "I'd rather have a smaller part of something big than a bigger part of something small."

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His appointment raised concerns among investors about whether he could run both Twitter and mobile payments company Square Inc, which he co-founded.

Dorsey disclosed in Square's IPO filing earlier this month that he plans to donate 40 million shares, or 10 percent of the company, to a charity foundation he started that invests in artists, musicians and local businesses. He has already given back over 15 million shares to both Square and the charity foundation, he said.

Last week, former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said he has taken a 4 percent stake in Twitter, making him the third-biggest individual shareholder in the social media company. Ballmer now owns more of Twitter than Dorsey, who has a 3.2 percent stake, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Dorsey, who is in his second stint as chief executive at Twitter, has rolled out a "buy now" button that allows users to make purchases and a feature that shows users the site's best tweets and content as curated by a Twitter team.

(Reporting by Rishika Sadam and Supriya Kurane in Bengaluru and Yasmeen Abutaleb in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Pullin & Kim Coghill)