The fortunes of Twitter

By Felix Salmon
April 14, 2011
astonishing amounts of money:

" data-share-img="" data-share="twitter,facebook,linkedin,reddit,google" data-share-count="true">

How much are high-value employees worth in Silicon Valley? Quite astonishing amounts of money:

Dorsey came back to Twitter after the company had tried and failed to lure two senior product managers from Google. In both cases the company was fairly close to closing the deal when Google made counteroffers, showering them with restricted stock grants that are reported to be worth more than $50 million in each case. (Clearly, product people are in high demand in Silicon Valley.)

But then again, $100 million is just 1% of what Google was willing to pay for Twitter:

Last fall Microsoft, Google, and Facebook itself all considered buying the company. Microsoft never made an offer, according to sources, but Facebook is believed to have offered $2 billion for Twitter, and Google, by far the most serious, offered as much as $10 billion.

The offers last fall came just five years after Evan Williams bought back Twitter’s parent for $5 million. Going from $5 million to $10 billion in five years is pretty impressive even by Silicon Valley standards, and especially so in a company which never seems to have had a very good CEO or a helpful board.

There’s no shortage of drama at Twitter these days: Besides the CEO shuffles, there are secret board meetings, executive power struggles, a plethora of coaches and consultants, and disgruntled founders.

That kind of thing seems to have worked wonders so far. The main lesson here, I think, is that for all the talk of “leadership” and the like, the most successful CEOs are just the CEOs who happen to sit atop the most successful companies. Sometimes they’re good managers, sometimes they’re not. And there’s little non-circular evidence to suggest that good managers do measurably better than anybody else once they get the CEO job.

Comments
4 comments so far

Indeed, perhaps twitter has done well because the internal politics kept senior management too distracted to do active harm.

Posted by dWj | Report as abusive

Don’t believe everything you read. $50M for a product manager? I’d like to see some backup for that claim.

Posted by KenG_CA | Report as abusive

I was a software product manager for seven years and never imagined anywhere close to that kind of money. I’m guessing that in the business press this is a generic title for anyone who has both “manager” and “products” in their title, which opens the door to some senior management and development folks.

Posted by Curmudgeon | Report as abusive

Thanks a lot for providing individuals with such a pleasant possiblity to read in detail from this website. It’s always very good and as well , jam-packed with a great time for me personally and my office peers to visit your web site not less than three times in one week to see the latest tips you have got. And of course, I’m so certainly fulfilled with all the powerful secrets you serve. Some 3 areas in this article are without a doubt the most effective I have had.

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/