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Space X and Tesla founder Elon Musk in New York City, August 2021. (Photo: Naresh111 / Shutterstock.com)

Elon Musk Hints At Possible Twitter Move Out Of San Francisco

Musk remains non-committal towards Twitter’s HQ being in city

By Evan Symon, May 24, 2023 6:31 pm

Twitter owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave a non-committal answer towards Twitters future in San Francisco on Tuesday, creating growing concern that the social media company could be moving out of San Francisco soon.

Since the beginning of the decade, many prominent companies in the Bay Area, including Oracle, have left the city to relocate elsewhere in the state or move out, largely due to the growing number of significant problems besieging the Bay Area. However, few saw Musk or his companies doing the same. Originally highly praised for Space X opening in the Los Angeles area and Tesla in the Bay Area, he proceeded to amaze Californians by bringing car manufacturing back to the state by reopening the Fremont Assembly Plant in 2010. Tesla proceeded to grow exponentially throughout the 2010s, aided both by the tech boom and the rising popularity of electric cars.

However, only a few years later, relations grew strained, as California tax rates and business laws began affecting the company to such a degree that Musk looked elsewhere. Threats of unionization and the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down his factory for months proved to be final straws for Tesla and Musk.

In late 2020, Musk moved out of California to tax-friendly Texas. Only a year later, Musk moved the Tesla HQ from Palo Alto to Austin. While many Tesla positions ultimately stayed in California, with the car plant staying and a new factory opening up in Lathrop, Tesla continued to defocus California, opening up other factories in Nevada and Texas, as well as laying off hundreds of workers in California. While he did bring the Global Engineering and AI HQ of Tesla back to Palo Alto in February, both Tesla and Musk himself are now far removed from California.

Last year, Musk set out to buy Twitter, but went back and forth on plans. But, with pressure mounting, Musk finally bought the company last April for $44 billion. Problems plagued the company, with Twitter immediately losing users, Musk firing around 80% of employees, and numerous issues surrounding setting up living spaces in their San Francisco headquarters to let workers sleep during long work days. The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection is currently investigating the latter for violations, including allegations from employees that the company disabled lights and added locks that wouldn’t open during an emergency.

With so many issues, the question of Twitter leaving has been a constant question since Musk’s acquisition in October. On Tuesday, during the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit in London, Musk gave an unusually non-committal statement on if Twitter would be staying in San Francisco. This led to worry on Wednesday for many in the city that San Francisco would be losing a large employer and a huge tax-paying company.

“San Francisco currently is facing a budget deficit of $780 million in the next few years. They can’t afford to lose even more big companies,” explained Charlotte Welsh, a budget analyst who has worked for cities in California, Oregon, and Idaho, to the Globe on Wednesday. “Musk and Twitter are holding a huge card right now for San Francisco’s future. And, as we saw with the Tesla move, we know that he is willing to play it. There could be a backlash from employees, like when Disney employees refused to move to Florida from California until that was fully cancelled last week. The city could also try to block the move as Twitter is currently being investigated.

“We still don’t know for certain though what exactly will happen. But it is up in the air now. If you told the city 5 years ago Twitter was planning to move to Florida or Texas, they’d just laugh at you. Today, it’s a big threat.”

As of Wednesday, Musk has not followed up on a possible Twitter move.

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3 thoughts on “Elon Musk Hints At Possible Twitter Move Out Of San Francisco

  1. Leave, Elon. SF does not deserve you, and they LIE, so anything they promise is b.s. Go somewhere that appreciates Twitter and its gifted employees, and get out of SF where you’re considered “the enemy.”

  2. Community standards vs total freedom. How far can laws go to enforce community standards, now that we see the degrading chaos allowing total freedom.

    At one time when we shared a more common cultural base, there was a mutual understanding of community standards which translated into acceptable public behavior. That broke down in the 1960’s to ultimately the erroneously protected freedom and at will conduct of the increasingly violent minority. We now exist in a new tyranny by the minority; and tyranny it is.

    Yet again, we need a new mutual compact that constrains public behavior for the greater good , public health and safety and economic well-being for the rest of us. Taking a dump on ACLU is step one. The majority have right to live in a clean, safe and healthy tax dollar supported environment, which must take priority over the reckless indulgences of the few.

    Back to enforceable community standards for 80% of the population; and limits placed on the 20% who march to a different drummer. There is no other choice. Except that 20% remains free to operate elsewhere where their conduct t has zero impact on the rights of the other 80%. Yes, this is fair. Because what we see today is 100% not fair. Not, it is not totalitarian. It is common sense which implies there are common community standards to uphold.

  3. I would get out of California. Go to Texas where there is no income tax, and where they don’t have ridiculous job killing laws. If some of the employees want to stay in the Bay Area, depending on their position, they may be able to work from home.

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