Mandatory Credit: Photo by Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times/REX/Shutterstock (9980735e) CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, speaks during an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times at Twitter India office, at the Crescent Jack Dorsey interview with Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India - 14 Nov 2018

Billionaire Jack Dorsey might want to renegotiate his compensation package. Dorsey brought home a measly $1.40 salary last year as Twitter’s CEO while the company generated revenue of $909 million in Q4 2018 alone.

His pay isn’t a coincidence, reflecting the former character ceiling on Twitter posts. Technically, Dorsey might want to bump his salary up to $2.80 in response to the expanded limit of 280 characters. Needless to say, working at Twitter probably isn’t what catapulted the tech entrepreneur to billionaire status.

Meanwhile, Dorsey might not want to admit it, but he’s in good company. Donald Trump is taking zero salary for his job as the President of the U.S. In Q3 2018, President Trump donated $100,000 his $400K salary to alcoholism research. Jack Dorsey’s gesture in an age of excessive executive compensation is similarly noble if slightly more self-serving considering it makes his company look good to investors.

The SEC filing reads:

“As a testament to his commitment to and belief in Twitter’s long-term value creation potential, our CEO, Jack Dorsey, declined all compensation and benefits for 2015, 2016, and 2017, and in 2018 he declined all compensation and benefits other than a salary of $1.40.

Incidentally, Dorsey has been accused of “shadow-banning” conservatives on Twitter. President Trump has similarly lashed out at social media platforms.

Trump hasn’t seen a penny of his $400,000 salary since being elected in 2016. He donates his salary on a quarterly basis to some of the following causes –

Department of Homeland Security
National Park Service
Education Department
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Veterans Affairs


While Dorsey isn’t the only CEO to basically deny a base salary, it’s not the norm on Wall Street. There is no economic crisis and Twitter is generating profits hand-over-fist. His creativity to reflect the Twitter character limit is second-to-none. Leading CEOs earn hundreds of millions of dollars in annual pay. But some choose to tie their compensation more closely to equity positions they have in their companies. Other tech CEOs with a discreet pay badge of honor include –

Tesla’s Elon Musk ($45,936 salary, a minimum check required by California law which Musk won’t cash)
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – ($1 yearly pay)
Snap’s Evan Spiegel ($1 yearly pay)
CEO pay in banking is less modest. Swiss Bank UBS is currently under scrutiny for excessive CEO pay. The bank’s board proposed a compensation package worth $14 million for UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti. He’d be taking a pay cut from last year, but it’s still above market rate, Bloomberg reports. Incidentally, bankers including JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon are testifying before Congress today. It’s their first official audience with Congress since the Great Recession and excessive compensation is one of the burning issues.

Twitter executives, meanwhile, received no such luck.

“We recognize that the base salaries of all of our Named Executive Officers remain below market compared to our compensation peers and therefore, we expect to adjust base salaries over time to remain competitive.”


Despite their differences, Jack Dorsey and President Trump have more in common than either one of them might have suspected — salary. Whether or not that means one day the Twitter chief will run for commander in chief is a different story.


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