Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) just took a serious step in its future. News has dropped on Tuesday that Anthony Noto, who left Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) back in May, will join Twitter as its chief financial officer (CFO). Noto was formerly the co-head of the Goldman Sachs technology, media and telecom investment banking group. Noto was also credited for winning the lead underwriter role for Goldman Sachs in the Twitter initial public offering (IPO).
Twitter announced on Tuesday that CFO Mike Gupta will be assuming the role of Senior Vice President of Strategic Investments within the next 30 days.
What is interesting is that everyone thought Noto was going to join Coatue Management, a $9 billion New York hedge fund. Noto is a former NFL CFO, and he joined Goldman Sachs in 1999, serving his stent as the CFO of the NFL in between.
Noto’s annual salary rate will be $250,000. While this sounds like a huge cut for a Goldman Sachs guy, he is getting a solid equity compensation award in the deal. Noto will receive a one-time restricted stock award for 1,500,000 shares of Twitter common stock. This restricted stock will vest over four years. Also, Noto will receive a one-time option grant to buy an additional 500,000 Twitter shares. That restricted stock is worth more than $60 million in current market terms.
Nothing was really said about the move to a hedge fund after Goldman Sachs. Tuesday’s SEC filing said the following:
Twitter’s board of directors has appointed Anthony Noto as its Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) to replace Mr. Gupta effective as of a date within the next 30 days. Mr. Noto, 46, served as a Managing Director in the Technology, Media and Telecom Investment Banking Group at Goldman, Sachs & Co. (“Goldman Sachs”) from October 2010 to June 2014. Mr. Noto served as Co-Head of Goldman Sachs’ Technology, Media and Telecom Investment Banking group from September 2011 to May 2014. From February 2008 to September 2010, Mr. Noto served as the CFO of the National Football League. From May 1999 to January 2008, Mr. Noto served in various roles at Goldman Sachs, including as the Internet and Media Equity Research Analyst and the head of the Communication, Media and Entertainment Equity Research Team. Mr. Noto holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy and a M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
There are no arrangements or understandings between Mr. Noto and any other persons pursuant to which he was selected as Chief Financial Officer. There are also no family relationships between Mr. Noto and any director or executive officer of the Company and he has no direct or indirect material interest in any transaction required to be disclosed pursuant to Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K.
The Company entered into a letter agreement with Mr. Noto (the “Offer Letter”) and a Change of Control Severance Policy Participation Agreement (the “Participation Agreement”), each dated June 30, 2014, establishing his compensation as CFO as summarized below.
Wall Street loves the move here. Twitter shares were up 4% at $42.67 shortly after the opening bell on Tuesday.