Topline

Tesla billionaire Elon Musk has pledged to slash costs at Twitter—starting with executive and board salaries, though SME found they don’t seem unusually high compared to rival social media and tech companies.

Here are some key facts

Twitter’s board: Filings reveal that the average director salary for 2021 was nearly $290,000.

Snap, Alphabet, Meta boards: Snap’s directors made an average of around $330,000 in compensation last year, according to company filings; Alphabet’s board of directors largely made between $400,000 and $500,000; and board members at Meta (formerly Facebook) made an average of nearly $800,000 in total compensation.

The CEO of Twitter Parag Agrawal was worth around $30 million in the last fiscal year.

Snap, Alphabet, Meta CEOs: Snap CEO Evan Spiegel made roughly $3.3 million in total compensation for 2021, according to filings; Google-parent company Alphabet’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, made roughly $6.3 million; Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg raked in nearly $27 million in total compensation last year (as founders, Spiegel and Zuckerberg both own billions in company stock, as well).

Additional Twitter executives: The rest of Twitter’s executives, including its chief financial and legal officers, made between $16 million and $19 million in total compensation last year.

Additional Snap, Alphabet and Meta executives: Snap’s other executives made up to $10 million when counting stock awards; Alphabet’s other executives raked in up to $28 million; Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg made roughly $22 million in stock awards alone ($35 million total), filings show, while other executives made between $24 million and $29 million.

Stock-based total compensation Twitter’s total stock-based compensation in 2021 was $630 million, a 33% increase from the year before, filings show, compared with Meta’s $9.16 billion, Alphabet’s $10.89 billion and Snap’s $1.09 billion.

Important Quote

Musk has publicly talked about eliminating the salaries of Twitter’s board of directors, even before his buyout bid was ultimately accepted: “Board salary will be $0 if my bid succeeds, so that’s around $3 million per year saved right there,” he said last month.

Important Background

According to Reuters, Musk was required by banks to prove that he will cut costs and increase profitability at Twitter as he sought debt financing last month for his acquisition of the company, which cost $44 million. The world’s richest person had to pitch his plan for cost cuts at the company, and although thin on details, Musk said he would crack down on executive and board pay at Twitter as well as explore new ways to monetize tweets, sources told Reuters.

Big Number: $246.5 Billion

That’s how much Musk is worth, according to SME’ calculations. The world’s richest person, he sold over $8 billion worth of Tesla stock last week to help finance his massive acquisition of Twitter.

Additional Reading

Elon Musk Sells More Tesla Stock—Bringing Total Sales To More Than $8 Billion This Week (SME)

Are You Ready to Buy Netflix and Alphabet Once More? According to experts, the best tech stocks are value plays (SME)

Will Elon’s Twitter Deal Die—And Why Doesn’t The Stock Price Match His $54.20 Offer? (SME)

Twitter Stock Jumps Over 5% After Company Accepts Elon Musk’s Buyout Offer (SME)

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