Chris Fry, The Twitter Engineer With A $US10 Million Pay Package, Is Out As Engineering Chief

Chris-FryTwitterChris Fry

Chris Fry has stepped down as SVP/engineering at Twitter, where he had a compensation package worth $US10 million, to take an advisory role at the company, according to an SEC filing.

His replacement will be Alexander Roetter, Twitter’s current vp/engineering. Roetter will earn a base salary of only $US250,000, the company disclosed.

Fry’s gargantuan compensation package was frequently cited by critics as evidence that the tech sector was in a bubble. But it was also an indicator of how top engineering talent in Silicon Valley is in incredibly short supply. Fry’s pay is just shy of the $US11.5 million that CEO Dick Costolo received the same year, and more than the $US6.7 million Adam Bain made as president of revenue. He earned more than the founder, Jack Dorsey, that year (although Dorsey was obviously richer due to the stock).

Fry had a rare combination of skills. According to Reuters, he’s a “10x” engineer — a person who does as much work as 10 average engineers. Fry also holds more than 10 patents. he previously worked at Salesforce and he holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science.

However, Fry’s time at Twitter did not go completely smoothly. The stock dropped as investors realised that Twitter’s user growth was slowing. CEO Dick Costolo has blamed Twitter’s lousy user experience for deterring new users from sticking with the product. In recent months, Costolo had ordered a series of experiments — such as abandoning the “@” symbol — to see if Twitter could become more friendly.

Roetter joined Twitter in 2010. Before that he was a software engineer at Google where he worked on AdSense and ad quality projects. He has a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford.

Here’s the statement:

Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

Effective today, Christopher Fry has accepted an advisory role with Twitter, Inc. (“Twitter”) and stepped down from his position as the Senior Vice President of Engineering of Twitter. Alexander Roetter, Twitter’s current Vice President, Engineering, was appointed to replace Mr. Fry. Mr. Roetter has served as Twitter’s Vice President, Engineering since March 2013, currently running the Advertiser, Publisher and Exchange (APEX) engineering team, and previously served in various other engineering roles at Twitter since joining in October 2010. From 2009 through 2010, Mr. Roetter was the Director of Engineering at Laufer Wind Group, a company developing radar technology for renewable energy applications. From 2002 to 2008, Mr. Roetter was a software engineer at Google Inc., where he worked on the founding team for AdSense and later on a variety of systems and ads quality projects. Mr. Roetter holds a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University. Mr. Roetter’s base salary was increased to $US250,000 per annum, but his compensation did not otherwise change as a result of his appointment.

Disclosure: The author owns Twitter stock.

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