Significantly, X—previously known as Twitter before Elon Musk’s acquisition in October 2022—now holds a value of around $19 billion, according to a report by Fortune. This figure comes to light following an internal email sent to staff, offering them restricted stock units (RSUs) at a share price of $45. Earlier in March, X set its employee stock valuation at $20 billion. Besides the previous valuation, the current year has been a roller coaster for the social media platform under its new ownership.
Moreover, since taking the reins, Musk has instigated several notable changes to the platform, including a complete rebranding of Twitter to X. Most recently, the entrepreneur shifted X’s creator monetization system. The change targets rewarding accurate tweeters over sensational ones, a move aligned with Musk’s vision to “maximize the incentive for accuracy over sensationalism.”
Employee equity and controversy
Additionally, Fortune cited a screenshot detailing the company’s new employee stock grant offers, thereby confirming the $19 billion valuation. Internal documents from X have also revealed that the type of equity provided to employees, RSUs, will mature over four years. Consequently, the RSUs require a “liquidity event,” such as an IPO or company sale, for them to be taxed as income.
However, the platform’s $19 billion valuation marks a 55% decline from Musk’s original acquisition cost of $44 billion. Employee equity in X is structured to allow for cashing out a portion of shares to outside investors, emulating SpaceX’s compensation plan. While Musk’s valuation of the company may be deemed generous, especially when Fidelity, one of the big investors, thinks X is worth 65 percent less than its acquisition price, the share valuation nonetheless indicates a confidence in the new direction X is taking under Musk’s leadership.
Despite Musk’s proactive approach in steering the platform towards what he perceives as a more genuine space, the future stability and growth of X remain uncertain. The valuation confirms what many were already speculating, although whether this newfound optimism will translate into long-term stability and growth is yet to be determined.
The move to offer RSUs to employees at the $19 billion valuation also puts an end to the long-standing question among the staff about the worth of the company they work for. Hence, with the public now privy to these internal valuations, X finds itself at a significant crossroads, one where employee morale and public perception could either propel the platform forward or hold it back.
In all, X’s recent valuation serves as a critical marker for the platform, shedding light on Musk’s vision, employee equity, and public perception. However, the valuation also raises new questions about the company’s long-term prospects and stability. Thus, as X continues to navigate through changes and challenges, it remains to be seen whether the platform will ultimately validate Musk’s vision and strategy.