Musk tells Twitter employees they can still receive stock

In this illustration, Elon Musk’s Twitter account is displayed on the screen of a mobile phone with the Twitter logo in the background. A whistleblower’s complaint that Twitter misled federal regulators about the company’s security risks could provide Elon Musk with fresh ammunition in his bid to get out of buying the company for $44 billion.

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Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk told employees Monday they can continue to receive stock and options as part of an “ongoing compensation plan” even though the company is now private, according to an internal memo viewed by CNBC.

Musk said the stock plan will resemble the one in place at SpaceX, where he is also CEO. SpaceX conducts secondary offerings regularly as a way for long-time stockholders to sell equity, given that the company remains private more than 20 years since its founding.

SpaceX employees are granted their stock awards twice a year, on May 15 and Nov. 15.

Musk told Twitter employees that “exceptional amounts” of shares will be granted for “exceptional performance.”

The billionaire began a rocky takeover of the social media company after closing his $44 billion acquisition on Oct. 28. His leadership has been marked by massive layoffs,¬†spending pauses from some advertisers¬†and confusion about the platform’s policy changes. When Musk first took over, some Twitter employees were concerned that he would hasten to fire them before a crucial vesting date. Many were paid, however, before Musk implemented a massive workforce reduction.

Read Musk’s message to employees:

Even though Twitter is now a private company we absolutely will continue to provide stock and options as part of our ongoing compensation plan.

The stock plan will be much like that of SpaceX, which has been very successful. As with SpaceX, exceptional amounts of stock will be awarded for exceptional performance.

Thanks,

Elon

–CNBC’s Lora Kolodny and Michael Sheetz contributed to this report

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