Silicon Valley is known worldwide for the number of major tech companies which have made it its home over the past decades. The area of San Francisco is home to the best-known tech companies, such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Facebook, Netflix, Adobe, Cisco, and more.
All this appears to be changing, however, as a string of high-profile tech companies announce their plans to leave the area and resettle elsewhere.
On Friday, a long-time Silicon Valley resident, Oracle, announced plans to relocate its headquarters to Texas.
They are joined by a descendant company of Hewlett-Packard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which will also be moving to Texas. The significance of this announcement is not lost on those familiar with Silicon Valley’s history within the tech industry, where its status as the epicentre of the tech world is widely regarded as having begun in 1938, when Bill Hewlett and David Packard started tinkering in a Palo Alto garage.
Last week, entrepreneur and one of the world’s richest men, Elon Musk, announced that he would be selling his Bel Air homes to move to Texas. While Tesla and SpaceX continue to be headquartered in California, Mr Musk has other business interests in Texas, which he cited for his decision.
The Tesla CEO had announced back in May that Tesla would move its headquarters to Texas/Nevada “immediately”, after officials in California refused to let the company reopen a factory during the pandemic.
CNN reports that the relocation of corporate headquarters, company founders and big-name venture capital investors points towards a “corporate diaspora” of the tech industry, what some are calling an exodus from the Bay Area.
Moves by tech companies to Texas, in particular Austin, is not novel. The hub within America’s second most populous state, only superseded by California, is nicknames “Silicon Hills”, and is already home to industry leaders such as Advanced Micro Devices, Dell and others.
According to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, as of November, 39 companies in tech and other industries, have relocated to Austin so far this year.
Among these are 8VC, a venture capital firm run by Palantir co-founder Joe Londonsdale and Tesla – which is building a 4 million square foot facility just outside Austin, expected to create 5,000 jobs.
While not a tech-firm, e-cigarette maker Juul Labs has moved its corporate office from the Bay Area to Austin in 2019.
And, though it’s not a tech firm, e-cigarette maker Juul Labs moved its corporate office from the Bay Area to Austin last year.
Other companies snubbing the Bay Area for Texas are as follows:
Dropbox CEU Drew Houstan, who has purchased a home in Austin and reportedly plans to make it his permanent residence, according to a report from The Information last month.
FileTrail, a formerly San Jose-based firm making records management software for law firms, moved to Austin last April.
DZS Inc, a telecommunications equipment firm last March announced it would move its headquarters from Oakland, California, to Plano, Texas, and create a new “engineering centre of excellence”.
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