Moving

Spotify Strikes Its San Francisco HQ As a consequence of Security Considerations

Spotify has terminated its office lease and moved its San Francisco headquarters to another part of town because of safety concerns about crime and drugs near its former headquarters, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. With the move, the Swedish music streaming service also gave up a controversial payroll tax break that enabled its move to the Mid-Market corridor in 2013.

Two former employees who spoke to the Chronicle on condition of anonymity said a Spotify employee was punched in the face by a homeless man last year and that some workers did not feel safe due to open drug dealing, visible poverty and high crime rates in the area.

The Chronicle's report ends with a quote that perhaps further clarifies the decision. One of the former employees also noted that the Swedes who moved to San Francisco to work at the music streaming company were “not used to the homeless crisis in San Francisco.”

Spotify's new offices are in the heart of the financial district, where there are far fewer of the reasons for moving away from Market Street. Thanks to a controversial tax break offered to a number of tech companies in 2011, other firms lured to move to the mid-market, such as Uber and Twitter, still have offices in the area, as does another company with Scandinavian roots, Zendesk.

This is not the first time an organization has made business decisions based on concerns about safety on San Francisco's streets, particularly Market Street. In early 2018, a medical conference decided to move its biannual meeting to another location, citing that San Francisco's streets were too disturbing due to open drug use and threatening behavior.

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