Twitter Engineer Receives $10 Million in Stock as Demand for Talent Outpaces Supply

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bloodgain

Let's be clear, an engineer didn't get paid $10M in stock, an executive did. A senior vice president of engineering is not an engineering position, it's an executive/management position.

Christopher Fry may have an engineering degree or started his career as a software engineer, but Twitter did not pay him for being a talented engineer. He was VP of Development at Salesforce before he worked for Twitter. Engineers don't get paid $10M unless they're a co-founder of a VC sweetheart that gets bought out or booms, no matter how talented they are. That's executive pay.

The reason is simple really. If you give an engineer $10M in stock, he sells it as quickly as possible and starts his own company. There's no reason to work for you any more, since he can work on whatever he wants to now.

EDIT: Thanks to Forbes, I know what his degree is in: Cognitive Science (PhD, though, which is rather impressive)

(MPC seems to be blocking me from posting the Forbes link. Google it.)

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JCGPZ9

Sounds like an upcoming plea to import more talent using visas. There's plenty of talent all over the US and when I use Twitter it seems as if they don't really use that many or weren't very talented to begin with...

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DeltaFIVEengineer

I too am an eningeer and agree with vrmlbasic. I think we've seen this story play out before 15 years ago. People becoming instant millionaires on paper and when the bottom drops out, instantly bankrupt if they didn't see it coming. Not that these positions or companies are without value. However, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, et al. are social phenomena. Only time will tell when they become irrelevant as the next big thing comes along.

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vrmlbasic

Stock options? After FaceBook, I can only think of the Tech Bubble episode of the Simpsons when Bart's stock options are rendered worthless when the tech company tanks: "Milhouse, quick, what's a million times zero? And don't tell me it's zero!"

How is top-level talent not increasing? On one hand, I think that I could look at the sorry state of many college computer science programs which have been designed to churn out as many graduates as possible, by dumbing down the curriculum, and answer my question. On the other, it seems that there are always going to be new aces in tech; I certainly hope so, or when the current "top tier" guys die we're in some serious trouble!