Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company will build support for a more remote workforce as San Francisco 'is not serving us any longer'
Eric Risberg/AP/Jose Luis Magana/AP/Business Insider
- The CEO and co-founder of Twitter said in an earnings call last week that the company will focus on supporting a distributed workforce since "our concentration in San Francisco is not serving us any longer."
- San Francisco will remain the company's HQ and retain the majority of employees for the time being, but Twitter will seek to hire outside the Bay Area as a rise in remote work grows in popularity.
- Twitter chose the city's Mid-Market area for its HQ in 2012 after city officials proposed a tax break as an incentive to keep job opportunities created by the social media giant within city limits and to fortify a deteriorating Mid-Market district.
- Dorsey's comment regarding tech talent recruitment outside of the Bay comes as office space in San Francisco grows increasingly competitive and expensive and as a city measure proposes limiting the yearly amount of new office development.
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On an earnings call Thursday, Twitter cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey said the company was seeking to hire globally since the company's concentration in its hometown of San Francisco "is not serving us any longer."
The social media giant initially set up shop in San Francisco's SOMA district in 2006 before moving into its current Mid-Market headquarters location in 2012. San Francisco will continue serving as the nucleus of the company's workforce.
"San Francisco will be where the majority of our employees will be based for the foreseeable future," a Twitter spokesperson told Business Insider in an email. But now, Twitter will be building support to employ remote talent outside of the Bay as well.
"I don't fear any slowness as we work to distribute our workforce now, and I do think we have to build a company that's not entirely dependent on San Francisco," Dorsey said on the call last Thursday.
The comment comes eight months after the expiration of the Twitter tax break, an incentive crafted by city officials in 2011 to keep Twitter and its job opportunities within city limits, specifically in San Francisco's Mid-Market district. But it didn't rejuvenate the area as lawmakers had hoped it would. And the area's retail market even took a hit, due in part to employee cafeterias inside tech offices that kept would-be customers inside instead of patronizing local restaurants and businesses.
The tax break saved Twitter, and other companies in Mid-Market, millions in the past decade, and some critics see Dorsey's statement as typical of the transient tech industry's lack of integration into the San Francisco community.
"I'm not surprised that they essentially benefited from a very generous tax policy by city government, only to turn around and say San Francisco is not a priority for us," former San Francisco supervisor and tax break opponent David Campos told BuzzFeed News' Alex Kantrowitz.
But San Francisco also has a series of notorious problems that make it increasingly difficult for companies to grow within city limits.
One is the city's high rent and home prices, exacerbated over the years by stringent zoning and building regulations, limited housing stock, and a bloated workforce, among other factors.
But San Francisco has one of the most crowded and expensive office markets in the US.
Dorsey also cited a need to accommodate tech talent that values remote work, a trend in the software industry overall.
Twitter also isn't the only tech company that's looking outward for growth.
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