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Twitter’s top lawyer sees £10 million wiped off value of her shares

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Tough times for one of world’s richest general counsel

Lead

Anyone who got a job with Twitter before its 2013 initial public offering (IPO) is basically a lottery winner.

So it goes without saying that the social media site’s top lawyer, who was promoted to general counsel three months before the IPO, has done rather well for herself.

gadde

Upon her arrival at Twitter in 2011 as legal director, New York University law school graduate Vijaya Gadde received shares in the company as well as salary — with her holding in September 2014 recorded as 829,229 shares. These shares were, at that time, worth $42m (£25.8m), based on a trading price of $50.88 (£31.10) per share.

Today, with Twitter’s share price having gone into to freefall to stand at $29.84 (£19.50), those 829,229 shares are worth barely $25m (£16m).

Happily, San Francisco-based Gadde — who practised for ten years at US corporate firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati before joining Twitter via a brief stint at another tech company — is, as you would expect from a lawyer of her calibre, very commercially aware.

So as Twitter has hit its rocky spell, she has offloaded nearly 20% of her shares (149,493 plus 1,641 options, to be precise) since last September — leaving her current holding at 678,095 shares. They are currently worth $20m (£13m).

Despite the losses, judging by Gadde’s Vine feed (which can be sampled below) her existence among the California tech elite remains pretty blissful.

But it could have been even more blissful if she had joined Facebook: share price $92.40 (£60.50) — up from $59.83 last year. According to WhoOwnsFacebook, former general counsel Ted Ullyot holds 1.86 million shares in the company. That works out at nearly $172 million (£113 million)!