It’s Elon Musk’s Twitter fire sale. The new owner of the social media platform is holding an auction to sell many of the company’s remaining corporate assets and everything has to go, whether it’s chairs, sofas or a coffee machine for almost £300.
More than 600 items, including office supplies, furniture and Twitter memorabilia, were auctioned off last month as Musk launched a takeover of Twitter on a mission to cut costs. Online bidding, organized by Heritage Global Partners Inc., officially began Tuesday and will end late Wednesday morning Pacific time.
And with the variety of items on offer, casual shoppers, Twitter fans, and restaurant owners alike can find something useful in Musk’s catalog.
Interested in not one, but five authentic Italian espresso machines? A wide range of meat slicing machines? Industrial sized hair dryers? A massive neon display of Twitter birds? For all of the above items and more, Elon probably has buyers covered.
Musk’s offerings also include office supplies and furniture, but some of the items are much more luxurious and high-end than most would expect in an office. The selection includes custom-made wooden tables and desks, as well as high-end sofa beds.
But those office supplies also hold sentimental value for a company that recently began a tumultuous new chapter — and in which more than half of its employees were laid off. Twitter alumni took to the platform this week to reminisce about the company from its earlier days.
Kevin Weil, former CEO of Twitter, wrote that the items up for auction reminded him of “great memories from another era.”
Some of the items come at a decent price for most buyers. Twitter’s electric bird display, for example, cost $35,000. And if you’re in the market for a meat slicer, don’t expect to find one for less than $5,000.
But Musk is likely hoping the items go for even more, as the auction is just the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures Twitter’s new owner has implemented since its $44 billion takeover bid fell through in October.
In the nearly three months he’s been at Twitter’s helm, Musk has revamped the company’s structure in an effort to cut costs. In November, Twitter laid off about 50% of Twitter’s workforce, some 3,700 employees, while also laying off external content moderators and disbanding certain advisory groups. Also in November, Musk directed Twitter teams to figure out how the company could save $1 billion in annual infrastructure costs by reducing cloud services and internal server space.
Since acquiring Twitter, Musk has repeatedly raised concerns about its solvency, even claiming in December that the company has been on the “fast lane to bankruptcy since May.” In a live Twitter forum last month, Musk described the company as “an airplane heading toward the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls not working,” adding that Twitter could face a “negative cash flow situation” from about $3 billion in 2023.
Over the past few months, Musk has presided over a steady decline in Twitter’s ad revenue, which in 2021 accounted for 90% of the company’s total revenue. On Tuesday, a senior Twitter manager told employees that the company’s daily revenue was down 40% from the same day a year ago. The information reported as more than 500 of Twitter’s top advertisers halted spending on the platform following the Musk takeover.
When the Twitter auction launched last month, Nick Dove, a representative of Heritage Global Partners, said Happiness that “this auction has nothing to do with their financial situation.”
Heritage did not immediately respond Happinessrequest for comment after the bidding went live, although Ross Dove, chief executive of Heritage Global, told New York Times on Tuesday that the auction could fetch Twitter as much as $1.5 million. That number is unlikely to “move the needle” when it comes to the company’s financial woes, he added.
Learn how to navigate and build trust in your business with The Trust Factor, a weekly newsletter that explores what leaders need to succeed. Register here.