Twitter Inc. auctioned off kegerators, pizza ovens and other supplies from its San Francisco headquarters in what appeared to be the latest move to cut costs.
More than 600 items had been sold online as of Wednesday afternoon, according to an auction site operated by Heritage Global Partners Inc. The items were described on the site as surplus company office assets.
Some of the more whimsical items for sale include a neon sign with Twitter’s bird logo, which fetched around $100,000, and a digital photo booth that someone bid for $2,100. The lowest-priced item early Wednesday was a set of 10 rolling stands, which sold for at least $150.
Heritage Global Partners on Wednesday declined to say how much money the auction raised. Twitter didn’t respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. The company hasn’t said why it’s auctioning off its office supplies.
Heritage Global Partners sells more than 600 Twitter items.
The auction appeared to be Twitter’s latest attempt to cut costs. Elon Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion in October, leaving the company about $13 billion in debt. Twitter has since tried to boost its bottom line by shedding thousands of employees and offering users a paid subscription service. The company hasn’t posted an annual profit since 2019.
Twitter was accused last month of not paying the rent at one of its offices. The office’s landlord, Columbia Reit-650 California LLC, sued the company for more than $136,000 in missed payments. The office named in the lawsuit is more than a mile from Twitter’s headquarters.
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The items listed in the auction offered a snapshot of life there before Mr. Musk took over. It was a place where employees could store beer kegs in a kegerator, lounge in a hanging chair, and eat lunch at a banquet.
The corporate culture has changed under Mr. Musk. Some employees have allegedly slept at work, although there were no beds listed for auction this week. At least part of Twitter’s headquarters appeared to be down lately, as images from this week’s auctions showed towering whiteboards and tables in some areas.
Mr Musk has spoken about ending remote work for most employees. He wrote in an email in November that they would have to work late or leave. “We must be extremely hardcore,” he wrote. He had previously warned that Twitter could potentially go bankrupt because the company is facing what he called major economic challenges.
Ever since Elon Musk took over, Twitter has been in turmoil. To get a feel for what’s going on behind the scenes, The Wall Street Journal spoke to former Tesla and SpaceX employees to better understand how Musk runs companies. Figure: Ryan Trefes
Other items auctioned included 68 packs of power strips and 48 boxes of KN95 masks, both of which received bids of $1,000 and up earlier Wednesday, and an “@” sculpture that received a bid of $12,000. There were also typical office items such as chairs, sofas and telephone booths.
According to Heritage Global Partners, successful bidders will be able to collect their items starting next week. If the item is too large for the company to ship, buyers must use movers.
Write to Alyssa Lukpat at [email protected]
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Appeared in the print edition January 19, 2023 as “Twitter Auctions Off Items From Offices”.