Twilio Founder Jeff Lawson Appears to Have Just Bought the Onion


  • Satirical news website The Onion was sold to a company called Global Tetrahedron.
  • Global Tetrahedron is also the name of a fictional evil megacorporation in a long-running Onion gag.
  • But it’s a real company, and Twilio founder Jeff Lawson appears to be behind it.

Jeff Lawson, the cofounder of cloud computing company Twilio, appears to have purchased the satirical news website The Onion from G/O Media.

A trust linked to Lawson is behind a San Francisco-based company called Global Tetrahedron, which shares the name of a fictional evil megacorporation in a long-running Onion gag, business records show.

G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller confirmed the sale of The Onion to Global Tetrahedron in an email Thursday to staff, first reported by New York Times journalist Katie Robertson.

“This company is made up of four digital media veterans with a profound love for The Onion and comedy based content,” Spanfeller wrote. “The site’s new owners have agreed to keep The Onion’s entire staff intact and in Chicago, something we insisted be part of the deal.”

Lawson resigned as Twilio’s CEO in January following a year of deep layoffs and pressure from activist investors.

When asked whether he had purchased The Onion, Lawson played coy. “What’s The Onion?” he replied. Then, “What’s a Tetrahedron?”

Business Insider was unsure how to respond to these questions.

“Am I talking to Twilio founder Jeff Lawson or am I just taking crazy pills today?” Business Insider’s reporter replied. Lawson did not respond.

Lawson’s apparent turn to the business of satirical-news media surprised at least one former Twilio employee. When Lawson resigned, “everyone thought he was going to get into politics,” this person said.

G/O Media’s spokesperson declined to comment.

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