Why Twitter’s CEO took home just 140 cents in 2018

Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey received his first salary since returning to the role of chief executive officer four years ago: 140 cents. The conspicuously modest sum, disclosed on Monday in a regulatory filing, equals the original character limit for tweets on the company’s social network, a restriction the San Francisco-based firm scrapped in 2017 to boost user engagement.
Dorsey has for years elected to not receive any salary, bonuses or stock awards from Twitter “as a testament to his commitment to and belief in Twitter’s long-term value creation potential”, the filing said.
This doesn’t mean Dorsey is poor, however.
He holds more than 16 million Twitter shares, according to a 2017 filing, worth $557 million at the current share price. He also earns money from his second day job as CEO of payments firm Square. He offloaded Square stock through 2018, worth a total of $80 million according to Forbes.
The idea behind the low salary, a practice adopted by several Silicon Valley heavyweights, is to show these CEOs have faith in their company.
The 140-character limit — a relic of a previous technological era — was the maximum that could fit in mobile text messages when the service began in 2006, before the mass adoption of smartphones. The limit was increased to 280 characters in 2017. It’s unclear if Dorsey’s salary will double, too.
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