Dec 13, 2022 - Economy

Elon Musk's Twitter isn't paying its bills

Illustration of a hashtag with a downward arrow.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Twitter has stopped paying the rent on some of its office leases and hasn't paid numerous other vendors since Elon Musk acquired the company in late October, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Why it matters: One of the world's richest men isn't honoring financial obligations made to those with far fewer resources.

What to know: Twitter had offices all over the world before Musk acquired it, and many of them remain in use. But it leases the space, rather than owns it.

  • Since Musk took over, the monthly bills haven't been getting paid.

Axios has obtained emails between Twitter employees and several frustrated landlords, who could be best described as getting the run-around.

  • In some cases, the landlords offered lease termination deals whereby Twitter wouldn't owe the full amount, but were rebuffed.

One major issue seems to be that many of the landlords' contacts at Twitter have either been fired or quit, leaving behind junior staffers who are trying to catch up.

  • But the delinquency is so widespread that some believe it's de facto policy under Musk, as suggested in a New York Times report about how the company's new owner is seeking to cut costs.

What they're saying: Bill Reynolds, a Colorado landlord who leased Twitter around 40,000 square feet in Boulder, tells Axios: "If you don't pay, you don't stay. They aren't paying, so they aren't staying."

  • Another source who claims Twitter owes them hundreds of thousands of dollars notes that there is a human cost to these business disputes: "They owe me the money, but then those dollars would go out to nearly 25 other people."
  • Twitter no longer has a communications team or other spokespeople for Axios to contact for comment.
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