Twitter CFO Mike Gupta
Sometimes a career move is nothing short of brilliant. Like when Eric Schmidt left a struggling Novell in 2001 to become CEO of Google. It was a risk for him. The Internet bubble had just burst and three-year-old Google was flanked by "dot-com" corpses.
Twitter CFO Mike Gupta also made a golden choice. He left his job as treasurer of Zynga in 2012. That was almost a year after Zynga's IPO, when the stock price was hurting and many top level execs were leaving.
The choice paid off. In 2013, Twitter's IPO year, Gupta was the highest paid employee at the company. He earned $24.6 million: $241,667 as salary and the rest in stock awards, according to documents filed with the SEC.
His pay was bucket loads bigger than Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, who brought in a relatively mere $130,250 in 2013 with no new stock awards. Costolo’s annual salary was also reduced to $14,000 effective August 2013, the company said.
Not that Costolo's net worth is hurting. He still owns a 1.4% stake in the company, with almost 8.2 million shares. Plus he earned $11.5 million in 2012, mostly in stock.
But 2013 really was Gupta's year.
Twitter's IPO was one of the highlights of the tech industry's year and Gupta was praised as the man responsible. The Wall Street Journal said of him:
"The architect of Twitter Inc.'s initial public offering is a 42-year-old finance whiz with a knack for finding calm amid chaos. ... Gupta had to walk a fine line with analysts and investors, offering ambitious projections without committing the company to targets that it might not achieve."
Going forward, he's getting a bit of raise in his base salary, too, to $250,000, the company said.
Prior to Zynga, Gupta spent 8 years in finance and development roles at Yahoo, from 2003 to 2011.
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