Why Twitter Exec Leslie Berland Holds Most of Her Meetings in Public

THR Leslie Berland_THR_Twitter-443 - H 2016
Mathew Scott

THR Leslie Berland_THR_Twitter-443 - H 2016

The company's chief marketing officer often grabs a few minutes with an employee outside in the morning or at one of the San Francisco office's many open areas.

The first thing that Leslie Berland, 38, does when she gets to Twitter’s San Francisco office on the south side of Market Street is actually spend a few minutes outside the building. "I will ask a member of my team if they want to grab coffee or go for a stroll before we walk in," says the longtime New Yorker, who remains bicoastal but has spent most of her time in the Bay Area since joining Twitter earlier this year.

The former American Express exec has adjusted to her new company's office-less ethos and meets with her team at one of the building’s many public spaces (for private calls with outside contacts, there’s an old-style phone booth). "I did have an office in my previous life, but I have always very much been somebody who is out and about on the move, always with my team," says Berland, who was with AmEx for almost 11 years.

The Twitter cafeteria, where the company provides meals for employees

She says she particularly loves the outdoor roof area at the 1937 Market Square building where Twitter occupies more than 800,000 square feet. The $12 billion company moved into the former wholesale furniture market in 2012 and today has more than 3,000 employees across 35-plus offices, including New York, London, Dubai and Paris. "I love experiencing the energy and the culture in difference offices," says Berland, who as a part of her new job recently visited several of the international offices. 

But back in San Francisco, Berland has a few personal touches on her desk, including a photo of her husband and kids and a framed collage of tweets from her former AmEx boss, Ed Gilligan, who died in 2015. The memento, a gift from Twitter, is something she often references during the work day. Says Berland, "It means a lot to me to hear his voice in the way that only Twitter was able to capture."

One of Berland's favorite places to go when she needs a moment outside the office

Twitter-branded cornhole for when staff need a little down time

This neon sign shows off a hashtag popular among Twitter employees

 A soccer match plays during lunchtime at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco

Snowboards and skis adorned with the Twitter logo

A version of this story first appeared in the July 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.