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Twitter the latest tech company to cut office in San Francisco, nixing plans to expand to Oakland

Twitter announced plans to scale back or close offices in cities around the world, including one in San Francisco and a planned office in Oakland.

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) — Twitter is abandoning a planned office in Oakland and will shutter a secondary office in San Francisco, joining other tech companies reconsidering multiple office locations throughout the Bay Area.

The social media network company cut staff and enacted a hiring freeze earlier in July. It has scrapped a lease signed last year to create a satellite office at 1330 Broadway in Oakland, and will shut down the office on 110th Street right behind the 1355 Market Street headquarters.

The company recently looked into subleasing 174,000 square feet across five floors at the main location, according to San Francisco Chronicle.

Like earlier this month, Twitter said no layoffs are planned at this stage. A spokesperson told Bloomberg “We are evaluating our global office portfolio and re-sizing certain locations based on utilization.”

The downtown Oakland office, planned at a location nearby Blue Shield, Credit Karma and Square headquarters, would have been able to accommodate 330 Twitter workers, according to the company.

Twitter Comms did not respond to a request for information. The Oakland Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Oakland Association and the mayor’s office were not available when contacted for comment for this article.

The company told news organizations it is evaluating reducing or closing more office spaces in other cities worldwide, such as in Sydney, Seoul, Hamburg and Madrid. The owners are also considering restructuring and organizational changes due to being embroiled in litigation with Elon Musk, after the Silicon Valley giant attempted to walk out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media network. 

Twitter is trying to force the billionaire to make good on his April promise to purchase, saying the ongoing dispute is harming its business. The company said in a filing earlier this month with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is losing workers at a slightly higher rate than in normal economic times, but attrition is in line with current tech industry trends. A trial to challenge Musk is scheduled for October.

Other tech firms based in San Francisco like Substack and Lyft have announced layoffs or cut their offices recently, citing a slowing stock market and expensive buildings in the city’s struggling downtown district. Block, also located in the Market neighborhood, will not renew its headquarters lease next year, the Chronicle confirmed. PayPal said in April that it would close an office at 425 Market Street, keeping open the headquarters located in San Jose.

Twitter still has a small office located in San Jose. Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, said he had not heard the news about Twitter’s other offices, or any suspicion that the same might happen to the Silicon Valley office. 

He said he thinks it’s the start of a new trend for companies to rethink the need for “satellite” offices and whether they are cost efficient.

While San Francisco and the Silicon Valley have been hubs for launching many tech companies, that has changed in a matter of years. Twitter and other Bay Area tech companies have switched to ongoing work from home policies amid increased rates of tech workers who left tech centers like San Francisco to telecommute while living elsewhere.

“The thinking is, we’ll have multiple locations and people will put themselves where they need to be,” Hancock said. “One thing the pandemic has taught us is that you can actually start a company anywhere and you have meaningful conversations with venture capitalists over Zoom.” But he said he thinks companies will continue to keep their headquarters, with no indication Twitter will move its main address yet. 

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