Twitter has stopped paying office rent and considering not paying severance packages, report says

Social media giant has reportedly not paid rent for its San Francisco headquarters

Vishwam Sankaran
Wednesday 14 December 2022 05:16 GMT
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Twitter’s new boss Elon Musk has reportedly instructed employees to not pay vendors, including rent for its offices in anticipation of potential lawsuits against the social media giant.

Twitter, which has laid off nearly half of its workforce, has not paid rent for its San Francisco headquarters and global offices for weeks, reported The New York Times on Tuesday, citing people close to the company.

The company is attempting to renegotiate the terms of its lease agreements.

Twitter has also reportedly discussed the consequences of not paying severance fees to the staff that were fired during its recent mass layoffs.

The NYT also reported, citing a recent New Hampshire lawsuit, that Twitter has refused to pay a $197,725 bill for private charter flights taken in late October when Mr Musk took over the company.

In other efforts to save money, the company is also auctioning some office items from its San Francisco headquarters, including a statue of the company’s famous blue bird, office furniture, espresso machines and an electric bike-charging station.

The moves are a part of the several reported chaotic scenes witnessed in the company after Mr Musk bought it for $44bn and took over as its new chief.

Since the multi-billionaire’s high-profile takeover, thousands of Twitter’s staff have either been fired or have resigned, slashing its workforce by nearly half from over 7,000 to nearly 2,000.

Some of Twitter’s laid-off employees include entire teams that were responsible for fighting hate speech and ensuring user safety on the microblogging platform.

While the company initially decided it would give at least two months of pay and one month of severance pay to laid off employees in compliance with US federal and state labour laws, it is now deliberating not paying severance packages to the fired staff, according to the NYT.

Following the mass layoffs, Mr Musk claimed the firings were necessary because the company was losing millions of dollars per day.

“Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day. Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required,” he had tweeted.

Last week, media reports also suggested Twitter converted a section of its office space into bedrooms, seemingly for some of its employees working round the clock – a move now being investigated by the San Francisco Department of Buildings Inspection.

In an ultimatum to the remaining employees last month, he had asked the company’s staff to embrace a “hardcore” work ethic and commit to “long hours at high intensity,” or leave the company with three months of severance pay.

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