Twitter reportedly plans to cut office space globally

Microblogging site has announced various cost-cutting measures since its board agreed to sell the company to billionaire Elon Musk in April

The Twitter logo is seen on a sign at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California. AFP
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Twitter, which reported a net loss of more than $270 million in the second quarter of this year, is reportedly planning to reduce its physical office space globally as the company focuses on remote work to cut operational costs.

The microblogging site will cut back office space in various cities, including San Francisco, New York and Sydney, Bloomberg reported, citing an email sent to Twitter employees on Wednesday.

The company has also reportedly shelved plans to open an office in Oakland city.

It is also considering shutting various offices once leases expire, including those in Seoul, South Korea; Wellington, New Zealand; Osaka, Japan; Madrid, Spain; Hamburg, Germany; and Utrecht, the Netherlands, Bloomberg reported. It may find alternative office space in some of those locations.

Corporate space in other key markets will be reduced, including Tokyo, Mumbai, New Delhi, Dublin and New York, it added.

However, Twitter is not planning any job cuts, the email said.

“I want to make it clear that this does not change our commitment to the work in each of these markets,” Dalana Brand, Twitter’s chief people officer, wrote in the email.

“If certain offices were to close, there would be no impact to Tweeps’ employment; they would simply transition to full-time WFH [work from home] employees.”

Twitter was one of the first technology companies that announced in 2020 that its employees can work remotely “forever” after facing Covid-induced disruption.

It has also announced various cost-cutting measures since its board agreed to sell the company to billionaire businessman Elon Musk in April.

The company announced a hiring freeze in May after its chief executive Parag Agrawal ousted two senior executives, consumer product leader Kayvon Beykpour and general manager of revenue Bruce Falck. The company also announced cutbacks in marketing and corporate travel.

Mr Musk proposed to acquire Twitter in a $44 billion deal, pledging to pay $54.20 a share. Upon completion of the deal, the plan is for Twitter to be converted into a privately held company.

But the deal is facing headwinds. On July 8, Mr Musk filed paperwork to terminate the transaction, claiming Twitter did not address inquiries on its “spam” or bot accounts, or provide him with relevant business information.

On July 12, Twitter legally challenged Mr Musk for breaching the agreement.

With uncertainty around the deal building, Twitter's stock declined from more than $50 a share when the deal was announced in April to as low as $32.55 earlier this month. Shares were trading at $39.60 at 8.27pm UAE time on Wednesday.

Twitter will hold a special shareholder meeting on September 13 to vote on Mr Musk's offer, the company said in a regulatory filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week.

The company’s shareholders will also be asked to vote on a proposal to “approve, on a non-binding, advisory basis, the compensation that will or may become payable by Twitter to its executive officers in connection with the merger”, said the filing, which was signed by Mr Agrawal and board chairman Bret Taylor.

Updated: July 27, 2022, 5:02 PM
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