Posts Tagged ‘options’

That ZenDesk Company Can’t Afford Gavin Newsom’s 2004 “Twitter Tax,” But It CAN Afford $1 Million to Charity?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

[UPDATE: So is Zendesk the only San Francisco company that hasn’t threatened to move out of San Francisco lately? Apparently, see the Comments. BTW, did you know that:

[a]ny tweets that mention Zendesk are immediately turned into what we like to call a “twicket,” that is, a tweet that is converted into a support ticket.

Well, that’s news to me.

Oh, and here’s your chance to get in on the land rush:

“Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion is now publicly available and can be found on the Office of Economic and Workforce Development website, www.oewd.org, as well as on the new Central Market Partnership website, www.centralmarketpartnership.org. Applications are being accepted now, and the deadline to apply for the 2011 tax year is November 1, 2011. Please contact the Office of Economic and Workforce Development at 415-554-6969 with any questions regarding the application for the Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion.”]

I don’t really get this one here. Zendesk needed corporate welfare to move into the Mid-Market and it wasn’t going to do so anyway, do I have that right?

Leave us review. Former Mayor Gavin Newsom signed a payroll tax into law back in 2004. But a half-decade later, Twitter decided that it didn’t like Gavin Newsom’s tax, so an exemption was made for Twitter, and others so bold as to set up shop in an area that was mapped out by real estate interests and others, only Gaia knows.

Now we hear that ZenDesk agreed to expand in Mid Market thanks to the recent Twitter Tax waiver?

Is that the narrative?

A tourist takes it easy after an eventful day in the Mid Market a couple months back. I forget how many people got shot all told:

Via Bluoz – click to expand

So here’s the latest:

“We <3 SF. To prove our commitment to this rad city we’ve pledged $1M to @UCSF @Benioff Children’s Hospital: http://prn.to/pzzYwt

Now, is it possible that ZenDesk didn’t need that subsidy to move into the Twitterloin? Sure seems that way. Mmmm…

And let me assure you that nothing has substantively changed betwixt Dot Com Era I of the late 90′s  and our current Dot Com Era II as far as stock options are concerned. Obviously, a San Francisco company going public might not want to deal with the 2004 tax signed into law by Gavin Newsom. Obviously. So what’s changed the past seven years?

Here’s “interim” Mayor Ed Lee from this year:

We’re not about punishing any companies that need to grow and grow fast,” said Mayor Lee.

So why did Gavin Newsom sign his tax into law back in aught-four? Did he do it to “punish companies?” Did he do it to “kill jobs?” Was Gavin Newsom a “job killer?”

Apparently.

Hey, how about this? Why not treat all companies the same? Why not get rid subsidies for biotech? Why not address concerns about Mid Market without corporate welfare?  

“SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 31, 2011 — Zendesk, the leading provider of proven, cloud-based help desk software, today announced a $1 million pledge to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

“Zendesk was founded in Denmark and moved to San Francisco in 2009,” said Mikkel Svane, Zendesk’s CEO. “We have been humbled by the wonderful way we have been welcomed to this city and its vital high-tech community. As Zendesk continues its rapid growth, we want to share our good fortune with the city and people that helped make it possible. As a father and client of the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, this charity is especially meaningful to me.”

Zendesk is kicking off this year-long effort with a sponsorship of the Salesforce Foundation’s Concert to Benefit the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to be held on Thursday, September 1, 2011. Zendesk will host its customers, partners and employees to attend this charity event. Throughout the next year, Zendesk will donate a portion of its sales, as well as hold other fund-raising events, to deliver on its $1 million pledge. In addition, its employees will participate in volunteer programs for the hospital.

“The Salesforce Foundation has been an inspiration to us on how to integrate philanthropy into a company’s culture,” Svane added. “Today’s announcement is just the first of many demonstrating Zendesk’s gratitude to the city of San Francisco. Having just moved into new headquarters in the Central Market, we also look forward to making our new neighborhood a better place to work.”

“It’s great to see Zendesk, one of San Francisco’s rapidly growing tech companies, already giving back to the citizens of San Francisco,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “We are grateful to them for their generous pledge to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.”

About Zendesk

Zendesk is the leading provider of proven, cloud-based help desk software. For growing organizations, Zendesk is the fastest way to enable great customer service. More than 10,000 Zendesk customers, including Adobe, MSNBC, Sony, OpenTable and Groupon, trust Zendesk with their most valuable assets, their customers, partners, and employees. Founded in 2007, Zendesk is funded by Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital and Matrix Partners. Learn more at www.zendesk.com.”