Automattic’s San Francisco, CA office is located at 140 Hawthorne. Since 2013, it has served as a coworking space, hosted the WordCamp San Francisco 2014 after party, and has been used as a venue for local meetups.
On episode 101 of the Stack Overflow podcast, Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic, announced that the company will be closing its San Francisco office.
At the 45:50 mark, Joel Spolsky, co-host of the show, asks Mullenweg if Automattic is one of the largest fully distributed companies in the world.
“Yeah, in fact, we’re looking at shutting down our San Francisco office,” Mullenweg said. “We got an office there about six or seven years ago, pretty good lease, but nobody goes in it. Five people go in it and it’s 15,000 square feet. There are as many gaming tables as there are people.”
The building used to be a Fairtex location. Fairtex is a manufacturer of combat equipment and clothing for Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts. The building was completely renovated in 2013 and designed by Baran Studio Architecture.
The design was based on accommodating 15 to 20 people on a daily basis with options to expand to accommodate a few hundred people.
One of my favorite parts of the Automattic office is the T-Shirt museum where shirt designs from WordCamps across the world are displayed. Mullenweg says the items in the museum will be saved somewhere.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit Automattic’s US office, you can tour the inside of it without leaving your home.
In 2016, San Francisco was named the most expensive city to conduct business according to a report by the CBRE. If Automattic’s office isn’t being used by 20 or 30 people a day, as was originally intended, it makes sense to invest that money elsewhere.
The closing of the San Francisco office leaves Automattic with two physical offices in the world: One in Cape Town, South Africa where a number of WooCommerce employees live and Automattic East in Westbrook, Maine.
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