Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey Poised for $978 Million Payday if Elon Musk Closes Deal

Dorsey would earn $978 million from sale of his shares in the company

jack dorsey parag agrawal twitter
Getty Images; Twitter

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey stands to earn a $978 million payday if Elon Musk completes his hostile takeover of the social media giant, while current CEO Parag Agrawal could earn $39 million from his golden parachute package.

Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO late last year, holds just over 18 million shares in Twitter — which has been the bulk of his compensation while he took a $1.40 annual paycheck while serving as chief executive since the platform launched in 2006. With Musk’s buyout offer at $54.20 per share, Dorsey stands to walk away from his company with just under $1 billion, according to the company’s latest proxy filing.

Other Twitter execs could see cash payouts if Musk brings in new management and terminates them. Agrawal, who replaced Dorsey last year as CEO, and CFO Ned Segal, both have a “change in control” clause in their contracts, which means a deal to take Twitter private would trigger that clause because he reports to the board of a “publicly-traded entity,” according to its filing.

Additionally, Twitter’s board chair Bret Taylor would receive a payout of just over $3 million and former board chair Omid Kordestani would get $50.6 million in his payout.

On Monday, Twitter’s board accepted Musk’s offer to acquire all of the stock in the social media giant for $44 billion and take the company private. This Twitter purchase is considered the largest deal taking a company private in at least two decades, according to data from Dealogic.

In the last several weeks, the social media company and the Tesla boss have been dueling over Musk’s initial proposal to buy Twitter for some $43 billion after he acquired a 9.2% stake in the company. Musk then began mounting a hostile takeover after becoming its largest individual shareholder.

Twitter initially tried to resist the hostile takeover by using a “poison pill,” or a rights plan, to fend off Musk, while he went ahead with securing some $46 billion in funds for the acquisition. The two sides then met over the weekend, with Twitter agreeing to Musk’s $44 billion offer. The deal is still pending final approval by shareholders and regulators, but it is expected to close later this year.

For the record: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Parag Agrawal would get an exit package based on sale of his shares.