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Elon Musk Faces Even More Trouble at Twitter HQ

Updated: Dec 15, 2022 08:04
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Elon Musk. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

In every direction he looks, Tesla CEO Elon Musk faces a bevy of unenviable troubles. His albatross, Twitter, is reportedly losing $4 million per day. Meanwhile, building inspectors found impromptu living quarters on the eighth floor of their San Francisco headquarters. Former employees are taking legal action against him. Rumors are circulating that Musk is withholding severance payments, and that’s not all. The owner/eviscerator of the hemorrhaging social media giant owes over $1 billion in debt following its $44 billion acquisition.

As of yesterday, per the New York Times, Twitter has not paid rent on its Market Street headquarters. Musk’s eviction-worthy move seems to be the latest in a series of drastic efforts to cut spending. Such cuts have so far affected custodial staff, cafeteria workers, and Twitter’s entire communications team. 

See also: Ex-Twitter executive flees Bay Area home amid Musk fan attacks

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, 998 local employees have resigned or were laid off. Roughly 5,000 have left the company since October’s end.

Twitter was among the biggest forces in social media to make a home in downtown San Francisco. The company moved into the Art Deco highrise in 2011 after a hotly-debated tax exemption sweetened the deal. The program expired in 2019, leaving Musk with a presumably higher tax burden. 

Failure to pay rent is unusual among big tech companies. Most, like Salesforce, have opted to downsize their existing square footage. Efforts to sublease have met with weak results, given the industry’s move towards a predominantly work-from-home orientation. Twitter was one of many companies to carve up their office space. So far, no one has taken the trimmings.

The Chronicle’s Roland Li received no comment from the building’s owners at Shorenstein Properties.

“At risk of stating obvious, beware of debt in turbulent macroeconomic conditions, especially when Fed keeps raising rates,” Musk Tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. The unlikable billionaire was booed for seven minutes straight after Dave Chappelle brought him onstage in San Francisco last Sunday.

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Jake Warren

Jake Warren

A Potawatomi nonfiction writer and Tenderloin resident possessing an Indigenous perspective on sexuality and a fascination with etymological nuance. Queer decolonial leftist, cannabis industry affiliate, seasoned raver, and unofficial earthquake authority.