Elon Musk is auctioning Twitter memorabilia to cover losses

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A neon Twitter bird for $35,000 (about Rs. 2,848,000), anyone? How about a used industrial kitchen mixer for a good price? Go once….

If Elon Musk wants to make a point, it can be pretty blunt. On the day he took over Twitter last fall, he walked into the company’s San Francisco headquarters with a kitchen sink. He tweeted “let that sink in”. Do you understand?

After cutting the company’s workforce and falling behind on rent and contract obligations, the mercurial billionaire’s Twitter is now auctioning off memorabilia, luxury office furniture and professional kitchen equipment from its San Francisco offices, where large swaths are now vacant and free meals are a relic of the past.

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With the auction, Musk’s message is twofold: draw attention to the perceived excesses of Twitter’s previous administration while also signaling that cost-cutting – at all costs – is a top priority.

The items getting the highest bids, besides the neon bird, include a simple Twitter bird statue worth over $30,000 (approximately Rs. 2,441,100) and a planter statue of the “@” symbol. Professional kitchen equipment, meanwhile, goes for tens of thousands of dollars. These include a commercial dehydrator, a deep fryer and a La Marzocco Strada semi-automatic espresso machine, which retails for approximately $25,000 (approximately Rs. 2,034,300) (the highest bid as of Wednesday morning was $12,000 (approximately Rs. 976,400)) .

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Even when it all adds up, the money raised from the auction, which closes Wednesday, is unlikely to put a dent in Twitter’s financial obligations.

Musk bought Twitter in October for $44 billion (approximately Rs. 3,58,000 crore) and the company is on the hook for approximately $1 billion (approximately Rs. 8,100 crore) per annum in interest payments from the deal. Most of Musk’s wealth is tied to his ownership of Tesla shares, which have lost more than 40 percent of their value since he took ownership of Twitter in late October. He sold nearly $23 billion (approximately Rs. 1,87,100 crore) worth of shares of the electric vehicle company to fund the purchase since April when he started building a position on Twitter. According to UKTN, he even lost the top spot for the world’s richest person.

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Twitter, which no longer has a media relations department, did not immediately respond to a message for comment on Wednesday.

Musk defended his extreme cost-cutting measures in a late-night Twitter Spaces call back in December.

“This business is basically like being on a plane flying at high speed towards the ground with the engines on fire and the controls not working,” Musk said on Dec. 21.


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