Christopher Fry’s name stands out amongst the various engineers that are part of Twitter’s list of highest paid executives. Last year, the senior vice president of engineer was able to rake in about $10.3 million and was only a little behind Dick Costolo, the chief executive officer of Twitter who had been given a salary of $11.5 million. This information has been obtained from the IPO documents of the social messaging service. These amounts are way more than the paychecks that were given to chief financial officer Mike Gupta, chief technology officer Adam Messinger and chief operating officer Ali Rowghani.
This is Silicon Valley; where there is a shortage of valuable engineering talent amidst an explosion of startups backed by venture capitalists, which has eventually inflated the paychecks of existing engineers. According to Iain Grant, a recruiter at Riviera Partners, which specializes in recruiting engineers for startups backed by venture capitalists, stated there is a limited number of A players in Silicon Valley. However, he added that the demand for these individuals has simply gone through the roof. It is quite common to hear stories regarding the length to which employers are willing to go for attracting the top engineering talent.
This includes offering them laundry services, free cafeterias and shuttle buses, which are also given Google, Facebook and other renowned companies. Venky Ganesan, a venture capitalist said that a coveted engineer had been offered a year’s lease on a Tesla sedan by a startup and this had led to a cost of about $1000 a month. He did not give the name of the company though as his firm is an investor in it. Sam Shank, the CEO of At Hotel Tonight that offers a mobile app for making last minute bookings said that the office area was staged to make it appear lively for a prospective hire. Two potential employees were roped into a ping pong game while others were positioned at the bar.
The strategy bore fruit and the recruits ended up designing an important part of the software. According to the IPO documents that were registered with securities regulators by Twitter; the compensation given to Fry was mostly in the form of stock awards that had been valued at $10.1 million. He had been given a bonus of $100,000 while his salary had totaled around $145, 513. Some people may regard him as an underpaid employee as well. This is due to the fact that before Facebook’s IPO, Mike Schroepfer, its vice president of engineering had been given $24.4 million in stock awards.
He had also been given a bonus worth $140, 344 and a salary of $270, 833. However, the total revenue that had been posted by Facebook that year had been 10 times greater than that of Twitter. Grant had added that cash compensation more than $250,000 had been paid to around three fourth of the candidates who had taken VP of engineering roles in his client companies in the last two years. Equity grants had also been given to many such candidates.