Mike Isaac

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Dick Costolo Makes $14,000 a Year in Take-Home Pay

aFinal_DickCostolo_Pic2010Dick Costolo is Twitter’s CEO. But he’s not making a CEO salary.

In August, Costolo reduced his annual take-home compensation to a mere $14,000 annually, down from the $200,000 yearly comp that he and president of global revenue Adam Bain each received in 2012.

While it may be more than the $1 a year salary that Mark Zuckerberg gives himself, it’s no fat monthly paycheck. (And perhaps it’s a nod to Twitter’s famous tweet character limit of 140 characters.)

Granted, there’s one big caveat: Costolo is taking most of his pay in Twitter shares. Last year Costolo made $11.5 million, most of which came from stock and option awards.

Costolo has also sold some shares. Along with chairman Jack Dorsey and COO Ali Rowghani, he sold some stock in 2011 to Yuri Milner’s DST Global and investor Rizvi Traverse.

Worth noting: Of the three highest-paid people on Twitter’s executive compensation table, one in particular stands out. Christopher Fry, Twitter’s senior vice president of engineering, made $10.34 million in 2012 (again, almost entirely from stock awards) — apparently more than CTO Adam Messinger, CFO Mike Gupta and COO Rowghani.

As I noted in March, Messinger poached Fry from Salesforce back in 2012, originally to work on infrastructure. But eventually, Fry made his way to working on consumer applications. Perhaps that’s why he’s considered so important — at least in terms of salary.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik