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Tesla billionaire Elon Musk has pledged to slash costs at Twitter—starting with executive and board salaries, though Forbes found they don’t seem unusually high compared to rival social media and tech companies.
Twitter’s board: Made an average of nearly $290,000 in director compensation for 2021, filings show.
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.
Twitter CEO: Parag Agrawal made around $30 million last 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).
Other Twitter execs: 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.
Other Snap, Alphabet, Meta execs: 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.
Total stock-based 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.
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.
As he secured debt financing for his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter last month, Musk had to convince banks that he would slash costs at the social media company and make it more profitable, Reuters reported last Friday. 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 Forbes’ 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.