Yesterday's amended IPO documents brought more news than continued unprofitablility: Ev Williams isn't going to be Twitter's biggest billion dollar success story anymore. That honor now belongs to Suhail Rizvi, a reclusive Hollywood insider and Wall Street financier who deletes his existence from the internet.
Rizvi's investment vehicle, Rizvi Traverse, owns a whopping 18% of the company, adding to a storied financial history that includes the "Twilight" movies and the privatization of Playboy, among other ventures. Given that Williams' stake was recently valued at around $1.5 billion, it goes without saying that Rizvi and his pals will make one hell of a lot of money—that includes sympathetic, struggling investment beneficiaries like Saudi Prince Alwaleed. And speaking of his highness, in a stellar look at Rizvi, Gerry Shih and Ronald Grover of Reuters notes the following:
Rizvi maintains an elusive Web presence. The only readily found picture of Rizvi is a snapshot of him sitting with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Alwaleed in a New York hotel after the prince bought Twitter shares.
The photo, on a Saudi news outlet, had irked Twitter executives and Rizvi, as they had preferred to keep the transaction quiet.
"Readily found" is probably generous—the image, seen above, appears on only a handful of websites, and finding a version large enough to actually make out Rizvi (second from the right) is tough. Finding anything about Rizvi is tough, says Shih:
[Rizvi] guards his secrecy so zealously that he employs a person to take down his Wikipedia entry and scrub his picture from the Internet.
You can see irked Wikipedia power-users griping about the self-sanitation here. Unfortunately for Rizvi, it's a lot harder to scrub tweets out of existence.