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Juul Moving Headquarters From San Francisco To D.C.

Juul

E-Cigarette maker Juul Labs is shifting its headquarters to D.C. as it aims to influence federal regulations, according to multiple reports.

Juul is moving its corporate functions from San Francisco to D.C., The Wall Street Journal first reported Monday, citing anonymous sources. The San Francisco Chronicle confirmed the WSJ's report, which didn't mention a location or square footage of any planned D.C. office. 

Juul signed a roughly 20K SF lease 18 months ago at Douglas Development's 1000 F St. NW, Douglas principal Norman Jemal tells Bisnow. Jemal said Juul isn't in talks for an expansion in the building, which is fully leased. 

The headquarters move comes because Juul wants to be closer to federal lawmakers and Food and Drug Administration regulators, who will determine whether it can sell its products in the U.S, the WSJ reports. Colliers International represents Juul in its office leasing in D.C., Bisnow confirmed, but representatives from the brokerage weren’t immediately available to comment Tuesday morning.

Juul is also planning to lay off roughly 900 of its 3,000 employees worldwide, the WSJ reports, including roughly a quarter of its 1,800-person U.S. staff. It still plans to maintain a presence in the San Francisco area for product and software development employees.  

The e-cigarette maker has been the subject of federal investigations over its marketing practices. In January, the Trump administration announced a ban on some flavored e-cigarettes. Juul's U.S. retail sales have fallen 38% since July, the WSJ reported, citing Cowen analyst Vivien Azer.  

Cigarette giant Altria Group acquired a 35% stake in Juul in December 2018, and in September, former Altria executive K.C. Crosthwaite took over as Juul CEO. Crosthwaite pulled back on the company's overseas expansion and stopped U.S. sales of sweet and fruity e-cigarette flavors. The company raised $700M in convertible debt in February, WSJ reported, and as of March it had a valuation of $12B.