SAN FRANCISCO – The personal fortune of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams probably will take up 10 characters once the online communications company goes public.
Williams, who was Twitter’s CEO for two years until Dick Costolo took over in 2010, owns a 12 percent stake that makes him the company’s largest shareholder. If Twitter turns out to be worth at least $17.60 per share, the initial public offering will make Williams a billionaire at 41 years old.
Williams, a Nebraska native who now lives in San Francisco, is likely to join the billion-dollar club because an outside appraisal of Twitter completed in August valued the company at $20.62 per share, according to IPO documents unsealed Thursday. At that price, Williams’ 56.9 million shares would be worth nearly $1.2 billion.
San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. hopes to raise $1 billion, an offer that’s expected to be completed by Thanksgiving.
Williams owns such a large stake because Twitter was hatched within another startup called Odeo that he launched in 2005 after leaving a job at Google. He had gone to work for Google after selling his first hit product, Blogger, to Google for an undisclosed amount in 2003.
Odeo, which specialized in podcasting, never caught on, and Twitter was eventually spun into Obvious Corp., another company run by Williams. Although Williams is no longer Twitter’s chief executive, he remains on the company’s board of directors.