Twitter co-founder and board member Ev Williams, who currently owns blogging platform Medium, is planning to sell a significant portion of his shareholding in the micro-blogging company. And since people can be relatively quick to judge such a decision related to the company, Ev Williams has rushed out the gate to defend his decision.
Ev Williams, who is the largest individual stakeholder of Twitter, today took to his Medium blog (of course!) to explain that he plans on selling a minority of his TWTR (the company’s ticker name) stock over the next year. He continues to add that the Twitter stock sale at this point is hurting him on the inside, but it is extremely necessary for personal reasons. Not performance-related ones. The blog post further adds,
This plan kicked in on Monday. It actually pains me to be selling at this point, but this sale is all about personal context, not company context.
The Twitter co-founder has already initiated the selling procedure, as also revealed through an SEC filing and confirmed by a Twitter spokesperson to Recode. According to this filing, Wiliams has already sold $4 million worth of Twitter stock on Wednesday, which is just the beginning of the trimming process. He has decided to time stock holding by about 30 percent, reports Business Insider, who first broke the story. This means his $630 million stake in Twitter would be reduced from the current 5 percent to just lower than 4 percent. He will, thus, receive about $125 million after deduction of taxes.
Now, Williams has not kept us in the dark and shed light on the personal reasons he will be diverting the capital raised from the stake sale in his Medium blog post. He explains that he has spent most capital investing in up and coming startups through his venture fund, Obvious Ventures. And a sizeable chunk has also gone towards charitable and political campaigns, which Williams plans to continue. He further stated,
I like to invest a lot in things I care about.
These are all efforts to help build a smarter, more sustainable world. I’ve been doing all of them for a while, and I’d like to continue.
Further, Williams says that he’s already set up a 10b5-1 trading plan, which defines the dates he will be making the sale to avoid insider trading suspicions. While Twitter’s share prices have already spiraled down about 15 percent in the last three-odd months, they’re still continuing on the same defined path. The micro-blogging platform’s stock is currently at $14.35 in after-hour trading, which is flat & suggests the investors aren’t much affected by the sale.
Yes, the sale of shares is happening because of personal context and not due to performance reasons. Instead, he is quite elated about the changes being induced in the platform he helped launch with currently appointed CEO Jack Dorsey and others way back in 2006. He is completely supportive of the action against hate speech and abuse, the uptick in daily usage, simplifications for the layman and recent management changes.