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SF Twitter HQ Staffers Urged to Say ‘Hi!’ to Elon Musk as Threat of Layoffs Looms

Written by Kevin V. NguyenPublished Oct. 26, 2022 • 2:12pm
Elon Musk's Tweet displayed on a screen and Twitter logo displayed on a phone screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland, on April 14, 2022. | Photo illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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San Francisco’s Twitter HQ staff have been told to say “hi” to billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk as he edges closer to acquiring the company. 

Musk has threatened to lay off 75% of the company and take it private. 

On his Wednesday visit to Twitter HQ, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO arrived carrying a porcelain sink.

“Entering Twitter HQ — let that sink in!,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

His visit comes ahead of the Friday deadline to complete his purchase of the company, according to an internal memo acquired by The New York Times

NYT’s technology reporter took to the platform to say Twitter’s Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Berland had encouraged workers in the SF office to go up and “say hi!” to Musk. Both Twitter and Musk were contacted for comment by The Standard.

Musk first agreed to buy Twitter at $44 billion in April. Weeks later, however, he alleged that the company had downplayed the number of inauthentic bot accounts on the site, effectively claiming that Twitter falsely inflated the size of its user base.

Then in early October, he changed course again and decided to move forward with the deal after Twitter sued him for breaching their agreement. 

Musk’s promise to gut the company comes at a time when SF’s Downtown is facing an epic real estate crash related to its failure to return workers to its many offices. 

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In a town hall with Twitter employees held earlier this year, Musk addressed the potential of layoffs. He said the company “needs to get healthy,” and “anyone who is a significant contributor should have nothing to worry about.”

The immediate outlook for the neighborhood is bleak. A rundown of the large office buildings in Downtown’s Mid-Market neighborhood reads more like a list of Who’s Left rather than a Who’s Who; offices may empty out further as leases signed by Block, Uber, Airbnb and DoorDash expire over the next few years. 

While there’s some investment by developers betting on a rebound, it’s nothing like the money that was flowing in just a few years ago. 

For its part, Twitter has consolidated its entire San Francisco office holdings into its 1355 Market St. location, where it currently occupies 379,000 square feet. 

That lease currently is set to expire in 2028; through a spokesperson, Twitter previously told The Standard that it does not disclose geographic breakdowns of its employees, but that it remains “committed to the market.” But that was before the recent revelations about Musk’s downsizing plans.

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Kevin V. Nguyen can be reached at [email protected]


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