Jack Dorsey, co-founder and interim CEO of Twitter, just bought 31,627 shares of Twitter.
This stock buy, worth around $US856,000, is equivalent to around .14% of Dorsey’s stake in the company he co-founded.
On Twitter, Dorsey said this was “investing in [Twitter’s] future.”
Which is technically true, but also sort of a joke.
On Monday, Twitter shares were up nearly 7% as markets saw Dorsey’s buy as a vote of confidence in the company.
SEC filings also indicate that over the last week Twitter CFO Anthony Noto, as well as board members Peter Currie and Peter Fenton, each bought more than 7,000 — but less than 10,000 — shares of the company.
So Twitter’s leadership has clearly made a concerted effort to bolster investor confidence in a stock trading near all-time lows with token stock purchases. And it seems to have worked.
And while buying shares is certainly better than selling shares, this is a tiny amount. Dorsey is a billionaire: he can afford to buy many more shares.
What would be a fair amount to really show confidence? We’re not sure, but Tim Armstrong once spent $US10 million on AOL shares when his company was being battered. When he sold AOL to Verizon he more than doubled that investment.
But regardless of how much stock Twitter insiders are buying, recent reports make clear the issues inside Twitter do not revolve around how much Dorsey or any other executive is personally invested in the company.
The reality is that the company still doesn’t have a permanent CEO, and in a recent report one Twitter insider told Business Insider’s Alexei Oreskovic that “morale is beyond low” at the company and that employees are leaving amid the rampant uncertainty.
As it currently stands, Dorsey is the interim CEO and also serves as the CEO of mobile payment company Square, which is preparing to go public at some point this year. But some notable Twitter investors have publicly made noise that no matter what, Dorsey needs to be the next full-time CEO at Twitter.
And reports have indicated that Square’s advisers are making plans for the company were Dorsey to jump ship and take over Twitter full-time as his only job. Some investors, however, think he should do both.
The roster of executives that serve at or near the top of multiple, and disparate, public companies is short: it’s basically just Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and chairman at SolarCity. And maybe Jack Dorsey is the next Elon Musk, a corporate shepherd so talented he can lead two companies in semi-related but ultimately different industries to the promised land.
But that’s a big ask for anybody.
But again, the relevant point here is that Dorsey is a billionaire, and even with Twitter’s stock down about 35% over the last year his stake in the social media company is still worth over $US600 million.
This latest $US856,000 stock buy may have moved the needle on Twitter’s stock price and given the market the illusory confidence so desired by investors.
But it changes almost nothing about Dorsey’s actual investment in the company.