When Twitter’s IPO launches and its stock becomes publicly traded in a few months, the offering will create several instant millionaires. CEO
Dick Costolo, who provided $US25,000 in early investment money, has a stake worth about $US10 million, according to The New York Times.
But the Times also found a couple of workers from the early days of Twitter who didn’t get any stock. One was Dom Sagolla, the former head of quality at Odeo from 205 through 2006. Odeo was the forerunner company to Twitter. He told the Times:
“To see it come to life and have it taken away, I was devastated,” said Dom Sagolla, an early employee of Twitter who was laid off in May 2006 and never received stock. While Mr. Sagolla has made some money by proxy from Twitter — he wrote a book that tells newcomers how to use the service and is doing some paid public speaking — he does not stand to benefit as Twitter heads to Wall Street.
Another was Florian Weber, a German programmer contractor. Weber was a lead developer at both Odeo and Twitter. The Times says:
And then there were those who never got any stock at all, like Florian Weber, one of the earliest programmers at the company. He worked on the project before it was even fully separate from Odeo, the now-defunct company where it was hatched.
Mr. Weber, a German citizen, said he was hired as a contractor, not an employee, so he never received any stock options.
“Coming from Germany, it’s not something that I pushed terribly hard for,” said Mr. Weber, who often worked remotely from Hamburg and eventually tired of telecommuting.
“As far as I know, I’m the only one who does not have stock options,” he said. But he has no regrets. He eventually started his own company, Amen, in Germany, which was just sold to a bigger firm, Tape.tv. “I’m very happy with my life.”
The Times explains that in its early days, Twitter struggled and laid people off to conserve cash.