Twitter’s SF HQ is silent despite Elon Musk’s elimination from remote work


The scene at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters the day after new owner Elon Musk ordered employees to report full-time was muted. No phalanx of workers entered the building on Friday morning, although no pranksters claiming to be fired showed up this time either.

While regular security guards were stationed outside the company’s headquarters on Friday morning, other employees were nowhere to be found. As people walked in and out of the nearby gym, hardly anyone entered the tech company’s lobby, and most of the building’s lights seemed to go out early in the morning and after 9 a.m.

Musk ordered employees to report to offices to work 40 hours a week or lose their jobs earlier this week, telling employees in a memo: “The road ahead is arduous and will require hard work to succeed. . We’re also changing Twitter’s policy so that remote work is no longer allowed. »

He sent the missive Wednesday evening, with Thursday as the effective date.

It was unclear if Twitter employees were getting the day off for Veterans Day. A Twitter employee job: “log in to see if we are still celebrating holidays.” musk itself posted a photo he said he was from company headquarters, though it’s unclear if he was there on Friday.

There had also been speculation on Twitter that remote employees would use the company’s unlimited PTO policy instead of returning to the office on Friday.

The order is a U-turn from the start of the pandemic, when now ousted CEO Parag Agrawal tell the employees they could work where they felt most productive, “including working from home full-time forever”.

The back-to-office orders come after Musk laid off around half of the company’s workforce last week, prompting farewells posted on the site by departing staff. The cuts affected about 900 employees in San Francisco and San Jose, and nearly 1,000 in California overall, according to notices the company filed with the state.

Requiring what remains of the company’s workforce to return to the downtown San Francisco office could have far-reaching effects for the region. The company moved to the site more than a decade ago to take advantage of a now-expired tax break offered by the city, and the presence of its workers has contributed to a partial revitalization of the Mid-Market area. .

An exterior view of Twitter’s headquarters on Friday morning.

Stephen Lam/The Chronicle

The Washington Post also reported that Twitter has held back on its plan to let users pay $7.99 for a blue checkmark next to their name, previously reserved for prominent public figures, over concerns about email impersonation. identify.

The company started adding a blank “officialtick on some accounts, but that didn’t stop accounts that had purchased the blue ticks from impersonating public figures and causing confusion on the site.

A now-suspended account with the handle @RudyGiulianiESQ appeared to be impersonating former New York City Mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Another account now suspended pretend to be basketball star Lebron James made a bogus request for a trade away from the Lakers.

Some high-ranking employees who kept their jobs announced their departure following the announcement of the return to the office.

Former Twitter Information Security Officer Lea Kissner tweeted they had decided to leave the company, while the Verge reported that Damien Kieran, chief privacy officer, and Marianne Fogarty, chief compliance officer, also left.

Yoel Roth, the company’s former head of trust and safety, who recently published an article about the continuing confusion around blue ticks and identity verification on the site and sat on a recent Twitter space session with Musk, changed their bio on the site to reflect that he was no longer in the role.

Ongoing confusion over the site’s future, and if and how users will have to pay in the future as Musk seeks new cash flow, has put off some advertisers since its takeover.

He also invited scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, which fined the company $150 million earlier this year for allegedly misleading users about how some of their data would be used to sell ads. .

The agency said in a statement to The Washington Post and other media that it was following developments on Twitter with concern, after the departure of senior executives tasked with complying with the settlement.

Danielle Echeverria and Chase DiFeliciantonio are writers for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected], [email protected] Twitter: @DanielleEchev, ChaseDiFelice


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