A massive bust of Twitter’s bird logo sold for six figures Wednesday as part of the social media company’s auction of hundreds of items from its San Francisco headquarters, as the firm bought last October by billionaire Elon Musk continues to restructure and grapple with dwindling revenue.
Bidding for the nearly four-foot tall statue closed at 1:50 p.m. EST at $100,000, according to Heritage Global Partners, the corporate asset disposal firm overseeing the auction.
The statue appears to be the most expensive item sold as part of the sale of Twitter’s “surplus corporate assets,” topping the more than $17,000 paid for a neon light-up bird logo.
Aside from standard office and kitchen equipment, other notable items include three kegerators to store beer, a food dehydrator and a pizza oven that each sold for over $10,000, as well as hundreds of thousands of protective face masks and several soundproof phone booths that sold for over $4,000—artifacts from a more laid-back office culture that Musk pledged to upend and make “extremely hardcore.”
Twitter’s mass unloading of office relics and supplies comes amid a broad corporate restructuring under Musk, who fired most of the company’s top executives on the day his $44 billion purchase of the company was finalized, installing himself as CEO. Musk spent his first few weeks in charge firing more than half of Twitter’s workforce and “cutting costs like crazy,” as he put it last month, claiming Twitter’s finances were comparable to heading “toward the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work.” Twitter lost $270 million in the three-month period ending in 2022, the last quarter for which the data is publicly available. Advertising accounted for about 90% of the company’s $1.2 billion in revenue during that quarter. Twitter’s revenue is down about 40% year-over-year, according to recent reports from the Platformer and the Information, largely due to some 500 of the company’s biggest advertising partners pausing spending on the site during Musk’s brief tenure.
The several million Twitter is likely to pocket from its office auction is chump change compared to Musk’s massive pile of wealth: His $150 billion fortune makes him the world’s second-richest man and the U.S.’ wealthiest. But Musk’s net worth is down more than 50% from its peak, as his purchase of Twitter caused panic among investors in Musk’s electric vehicle giant Tesla, with shares of Tesla down 63% over the last year. Musk’s stake in Tesla accounts for 55.6% of his wealth, far greater than the 8.2% his Twitter equity accounts for, according to our estimates last month.
Twitter’s Money Problems Deepen: Revenues Reportedly Plummet As Major Advertisers Jump Ship After Musk’s Takeover (Forbes)
Twitter Auction: An Authentic Twitter Bird Statue Could Be Yours—For $21,000 (Architectural Digest)