Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) awarded equity worth of $9.5 million to new product head Kevin Weil, according to securities filings. Weil was given 240,000 stock units on Friday, and on Tuesday, the stock’s closing price was $39.76 at the time of filing, valuing the stock at more than $9.5 million.
Weil becomes the third product head in a year
One-eighth or 30,000 of the units will vest each quarter for the next two years, beginning Jan. 1, says a report from The WSJ. Weil has been with Twitter for a long time and was appointed the company’s third head of Twitter’s products last month since its initial public offering a year ago. As product head, Weil will supervise the design and functionality of Twitter’s service, which is a demanding job in the face of declining user growth.
Before Weil, Daniel Graf was product head. He had work experience with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) but was demoted within six months. In November 2013 when the IPO was launched, Michael Sippy was the product head, but he quit in January this year.
Twitter CEO offloads shares
Twitter shares have been on a downtrend because of fading user growth, raising questions about CEO Dick Costolo’s capability and strategies. Shares of the company have dropped more than 35% this year.
Adding to the woes, the Twitter CEO’s family trust sold half of its shares this month, in addition to the shares already unloaded in July, according to a report from Bloomberg. The Richard Costolo 2001 Living Trust and Lorin Costolo 2001 Living Trust sold 283,460 shares in transactions on Nov. 3 and Nov. 17 for $11.6 million, according to regulatory filings.
After the transaction, Costolo owns 36,028 shares in the company directly, 509,828 unvested restricted stock units, and 283,460 shares through the trusts. In July, Costolo offloaded 16,698 shares, followed by 20,106 shares in October. Costolo talked about his 10b5-1 trading plan, which can be exercised by executives to sell their shares on a regular basis. The micro-blogging site does not limit stock ownership for its executives.
Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser said, “Dick’s stock sales were done in accordance with a trading plan put on file 90 days ago to help him diversify his investments over time.” Prosser also mentioned that the plan was drawn up before the sales were initiated.