Ev scores big, Biz misses out: how much will Twitter’s big guns gain from its IPO?

Twitter's IPO

We know pretty much everything about Twitter’s IPO now, from the fact that it’ll float on the New York Stock Exchange to its listing price: US$26. As we’ve already reported, that means it’ll raise around US$1.82-billion giving it a value as high as US$18-billion (based on 705-million fully diluted shares).

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In turn that means that some of the social network’s biggest current shareholders are about to see their net worth increase pretty dramatically. Okay, there won’t be a slew of new billionaires riding fixies around Silicon Valley but most of Twitter’s big players will have a little extra cash lying around.

1. Ev Williams: founder

(CC) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com and bub.blicio.us.

Current Twitter shares: 56 909 847

Value: US$1.48-billion.

Williams is the Twitter co-founder with the most shares in the company. That won’t change with the IPO, although the 12% of the company he currently owns is expected to go down to around 10%. Naturally having the most shares also means that he’s the Twitter co-founder with the most to gain from the IPO. Indeed, it looks likely that he’ll be the only actual individual to emerge from the IPO a newly minted billionaire.

2. Jack Dorsey: chairman

Current Twitter shares: 23 453 017

Value: US$610-million

Dorsey’s the name most of us think of when someone mentions Twitter. He’s the bullish personality, the guy who brought Twitter to the world’s attention. These days, Dorsey spends a lot more time working on his payments startup Square than on Twitter but when that trading bell rings, he’ll probably be paying as much attention as all the other founders.

3. Dick Costolo: CEO

Joi Ito via Flickr

Current Twitter shares: 7 675 239

Value: US$199.6-million

A former standup comedian, Costolo is at least a decade older than Twitter’s co-founders. Since taking over as CEO in 2010, Costolo has taken Twitter away from the open-API path it had trod until then (enraging many third-party developers along the way) and focused on building its advertising offering and relationships with investors. If Costolo is to continue leading Twitter as a publicly listed company, chances are he’ll have to make sure that the company is actually able to turn a profit.

4. Adam Bain: president of global revenue

Current Twitter shares: 1 785 818

Value: US$46.4-million

Twitter hired Bain back in 2010. Before then, he was president of the Fox Audience Network, where his work was seen as a bright point in a set of otherwise poorly performing digital products at News Corp.

That background has not however been able to save him from pressure as Twitter’s revenue was expected to slow in the run up to the IPO.

5. Peter Currie: director

Current Twitter shares: 300 000

Value: US$7.8-million

Currie is a Silicon Valley veteran, having worked as Netscape’s CFO in the 1990s. Since then, he’s become a go-to-guy for business advice among emerging Silicon Valley companies. Mark Zukcerberg famously sought his advice a couple of years back and he also invested in Flipboard in 2010. It therefore wouldn’t be surprising if Currie has been one of the voices holding Twitter’s IPO back until the very last moment.

6. David Rosenblatt: director

Current Twitter shares: 291 666

Value: US$7.58-million

Rosenblatt is a seasoned player in the online space, having Group Commerce, Inc and served as the CEO of DoubleClick and luxury products site 1stdibs.com. The Twitter IPO is therefore unlikely to be his biggest IPO, but should be nice one nonetheless.

The biggest loser

Biz Stone: founder

Current Twitter shares: 0

Value: US$0

More than just a co-founder, Biz Stone actually helped invent Twitter. He also helped to create and launch Xanga, Blogger, Odeo, The Obvious Corporation and Medium. So what happened? Well it seems Stone sold most of his shares in the company — in fact the SEC filing lists him as having no shares — and therefore most likely won’t benefit substantially from its IPO. With all his other interests though, it’s unlikely he’ll be struggling to survive.

Side note

While Silicon Valley VC Peter Fenton sits on the Twitter board and is listed as one of its biggest shareholders, thorough reading of the S-1 filing shows that all but a handful of the shares are actually in the name of his company Benchmark Capital. While he may benefit indirectly from that, he won’t get a direct fortune from it. We’ve taken a similar attitude with the owners of some of the major companies that have invested in Twitter.

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