Twitter Inc. is being sued after billionaire Elon Musk allegedly failed, of all things, to pay the rent on the office space it occupies in San Francisco.
Twitter leases the 30th floor of the city’s Hartford Building, and, according to the landlord, Columbia Reit – 650 California LLC, Musk owes $136,250 in back rent, according to Bloomberg.
On Dec. 16, the LLC notified Twitter that it had five days to pay up or face default. In its complaint, filed in state court in San Francisco on Thursday, Columbia Reit said its tenant failed to comply.
And the Harford lease isn’t the only bill Musk hasn’t paid, according to the New York Times, which reports, “Over the past few weeks, Twitter had stopped paying millions of dollars in rent and services, and Mr. Musk had told his subordinates to renegotiate those agreements or simply end them.”
“The company has stopped paying rent at its Seattle office, leading it to face eviction, two people familiar with the matter said,” The Times writes. “Janitorial and security services have been cut, and in some cases, employees have resorted to bringing their own toilet paper to the office.”
Musk addressed that claim on Twitter, writing, “BYOTP! Lol, it was true for half a day.”
BYOTP! Lol, it was true for half a day.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 30, 2022
During a live Twitter Spaces talk about Twitter’s finances last week, Musk described his new company as a “plane that is headed towards the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work.”
With increased costs and a depressed advertising environment, Musk revealed that Twitter was on track for a $3 billion “negative cash flow situation” in 2023.
“That’s why I spent the last five weeks cutting costs like crazy,” he said.
In pursuit of that quest to bring costs under control, Twitter staffers spent early Christmas Eve flying to Sacramento, home to one of three main Twitter computing storage facilities, to disconnect servers, The Times reports. While there were concerns about keeping the platform smoothly running, frugality trumped the risk of service disruption.
Saving money was the Chief Twit’s chief priority from the moment he carried the sink through the headquarters’ doors in October.
As American Wire reported, just two days into his ownership of the social media behemoth, Musk began laying off Twitter employees, sparking a stream of liberal tears from woke employees who were handed their walking papers.
By the start of November, Musk’s plan to eliminate half the company’s staff, roughly 3,700 people, became public, and Musk put an end to Twitter’s “work-from-anywhere” policy, save a few coveted exceptions.
Musk to announce new path for Twitter, cut staff in half, halt ‘work form anywhere’ program, report https://t.co/LtiLExUJwC
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) November 3, 2022
But the layoffs apparently haven’t stopped the bleeding, and even travel vendors, including one owed $197,725 for private flights taken the week Musk took the Twitter reins, have gone unpaid, according to The Times.
A court in New Hampshire is now looking at the payment related to that private charter bill.
It is in this chaotic climate that Musk is searching for a new CEO, after a Twitter poll determined he should step down from that role.
Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
“The question is not finding a CEO,” Musk tweeted, “the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.”
The question is not finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
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